A Wine Teller by Andre Silva

Digital transformation of Italian wine tourism

Before the lockdown, talking about digital transformation for Italian wineries was like having invented a new religion and looking for followers. It even sounded like something innovative, intriguing, but also relatively distant from reality or even from the need for this highly rooted market in family and territorial traditions.

The wineries behavior change began to be felt by me after the first month of lockdown. Several wineries began to feel the economic crisis that was coming behind to the health crisis. The logic was beginning to reverse and, instead of prospecting wineries to build a digital transformation partnership as we had been doing until then, we started to be sought by them in search of to increase sales channels and digital branding.

In my point of view, Italy in general has never had to work hard to attract tourists. They simply arrive attracted by the beautiful landscapes, by the historical cultural heritage, by the enogastronomy and also by the wine tourism. And the entire wine sector has always benefited from this. Italy produces about 33% of all European wine and about 20% of all wine in the world. Italy is a huge fragmented wine country.

The lack of digital transformation to deal with new generations from millennials is just the tip of the iceberg. Since the great crisis of 2008, the weaknesses of the Italian tourist market have been evidenced as a highly fragmented hospitality capacity, the need to expand and modernize the reception and accommodation structures, lack of professionalism in receiving tourists at wineries, etc.

In the last 20 years Italy has been falling in the ranking of tourist destinations in the world. After the borders were closed due to the sanitary measures to contain COVID19, Italy can only count on European domestic tourism during the summer. This scenario of scarcity of tourists naturally leads to greater competition between service providers. In this scenario that wineries have sought Divinea to improve their processes, increase the sales channels for their services and improve their exposure on search engines and social networks.

I think this easiness in having tourists was a determining factor for the wineries to be stuck in time and not feel the need to evolve technologically. Most of them manage their social networks in an amateur and even rudimentary way, do not have an updated and optimized website, do not sell their wines online directly to the end customer and, most importantly, are not associated with any online booking service for visiting experiences. and tasting at the winery.

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