It goes without saying that the global pandemic has wreaked havoc on the Italian wine tourism industry. With people unable to come into the country, it doesn’t matter what measures producers put in place to protect their visitors.
The visitors aren’t coming!
Or at least, they’re not coming in the volume that they used to. And this has meant that many of the jobs that were created by the tourism industry have been lost or placed on hold.
Of course, this will hopefully all revert back to normal once the pandemic is over and we’re finally able to return to living our lives in the way we always had.
But in the meantime, the Italian wine industry has been left to come with novel ways to support its tourism sector. And as is the case in so many industries during the current crisis, the web has been something of a saviour.
Enterprising producers have been hard at work developing virtual tours that people can take online, alongside a host of other online solutions and events. And the good news is that this move to the online world has the side-benefit of creating a host of new jobs for the industry.
In this article, we look at this brave new world of Italian wine tourism and the opportunities that going virtual creates, starting with…
The Online Wine Tours
As mentioned, a lot of producers have invested money into creating virtual wine tours that people can take from the comfort of their own homes.
Of course, most wine producers don’t have the technical expertise required to create these tours themselves. As such, the need for these tours has created a lot of work for graphic designers, web developers, and hosting companies. So, we can see that this change has likely led to an upsurge in tech-heavy jobs.
But the rise of virtual wine tours also offers opportunities for those who aren’t tech-heads.
For example, any good tour needs a guide to talk about what the user is seeing. As such, these virtual tours have also provided work for voice-over artists or people who are just passionate about wine and want to talk about it. Research also needs to go into what is said on these tours, which creates even more work. And any virtual solution will need ongoing maintenance to keep it working, as well as to keep the information presented current. When a company introduces a new wine, an adaptation to the tour is required that creates even more work!
This is without even getting into the burgeoning virtual reality scene and the tech knowledge required to make these sorts of tours work.
Granted, most of these jobs don’t help those affected by the loss of physical touring. But they do provide new work and revenue streams for tech companies working alongside Italian wine producers.
Online Tasting Sessions
This is where we get to the sorts of jobs that can benefit those who are already in the Italian wine industry.
Of course, hosting an online tasting session requires some technical work. The producer needs to understand how to stream effectively on their website, as well as being able to set up a suitable filming environment. These are all requirements that can lead to the creation of new jobs.
But it’s the expertise that really matters with a wine tasting.
You want somebody upfront who knows what they’re talking about. And that means job opportunities for sommeliers or people that producers can train to talk about the specifics of their wines.
While we often think of wine tourism in terms of tours around gorgeous vineyards, we mustn’t underestimate the impact that larger events have on the tourism industry. Whenever a large event gets held, thousands of people flock to one place and pump money into the local economy.
Again, the pandemic has put paid to these large events for the time being.
However, we’ve seen several large event holders organise online variants that have met with decent amounts of success. Again, the job roles created by these virtual events are far from the traditional ones we see in Italian wine. Events that offer access to thousands of people obviously need tech people to keep everything running smoothly.
But what we may see here is the rise of new roles.
For example, physical events provide work for companies that specialise in the creation of attractive stands. They also provide work for audio-visual experts, as well as offering smaller jobs for people who oversee and govern the events, such as security guards and assistants.
Not all of these roles will transfer well to the virtual environment. However, we can certainly see event planners and exhibition designers finding ways to transfer their skills to the digital domain. Assistants may also end up finding jobs in live chat, helping visitors to navigate the enormous amount of online content provided so they can find what they’re looking for.
The Final Word
It may not seem like it at the moment, but the future of Italian wine tourism is actually pretty healthy.
The rise of these virtual solutions has created an entire industry that requires talented people to keep things running. They also provide opportunities for wine experts to share their knowledge in a brand-new format.
But what’s most exciting is the possibilities that lie in store for the future. Eventually, the pandemic will end, people will be able to travel again, and traditional wine tourism will get back on its feet. Only now, Italian wine producers have extra strings for their bows. In addition to offering their traditional services, they will be able to provide virtual tours and tasting sessions, which create a new source of revenue to add to their regular tourism activities.
It seems that patience is the order of the day here.
In time, the Italian wine tourism sector looks set to be stronger than ever. We just need to get through the issues of today to enjoy that brighter tomorrow.
I’m a passionate about good wine and good cooking.
I like to keep me updated and share with my online friends my gastronomic knowledge.