Wine Tourism Marketing: What Can Spain Do Better?

Wine Tourism Marketing: What Can Spain Do Better?

Wine Tourism and Translation: Lessons from SpainSpain ranks third globally in international visitor arrivals. In 2014, nearly 65 million tourists arrived in Spain, lured mostly by the sun-and-sand offer. But there’s more that Spain can showcase for international tourists: wine tourism, for example.

Wine tourism has great potential in Spain, which was the world’s biggest wine exporter in 2014. Yet, Spanish wine marketers aren’t fully exploiting the potential of digital marketing. So, what can they do to make their online presence work for them? What do they need to keep in mind about the wine tourist?

Keep in Mind the Language-Sensitive Tourist

Last year, more than half of the visitors came to Spain from Germany, the United Kingdom, and France, but those numbers may soon change. The growing affluence of the middle class the world over, especially in Asian and Latin American countries will give rise to a new set of tourists. Tourists from China, especially, are coming in huge numbers. Their presence in every travel specialty, including wine tourism, is going to be hard to ignore. Many Chinese tourists are tech-savvy and very language-sensitive. That is, they do believe that translated travel information is important on international tours.

But, as a rule of thumb, it’s not just the Chinese who’d like information in their own language. That’s our most natural instinct and research backs up this very important preference of consumers.

Learn from Your Peers

And, here again, we have to mention China, but on a different note. Wine tourism is new in China, but is fast picking up. As a step towards promoting inbound tourism for wineries, China recently introduced an official translation guide for wine names. Though this may be targeted towards domestic tourists, it serves as another reminder about the language preferences of Chinese tourists. Also important is that France was quick to adopt this guide and that’s a very significant gesture from a leading player in wine marketing.

Do More than Translate

While website translation is important to attract international tourists, more is necessary in terms of localization. Be mindful of the smaller details like date and time formats, not to speak of more important considerations like providing the payment gateways your internation tourists are accustomed to. You may also need to change the look and feel of the website for different language versions.

Research on whether your target audience has particular food preferences – this may influence their wine choice. Think about what activities are popular with tourists from different nationalities and target accordingly. For instance, do wine-tasting sessions need to be combined with a beach activity?

Include User-Generated Content

You cannot hope to get anywhere in the travel industry, without including user-generated content, and that’s true for wine tourism marketing, too. Make sure you include online reviews, but they, too, will need to be in-language.


About Carlos Garcia-Arista

I am a native Spanish translator based in Barcelona, Spain. I have degrees in journalism and Spanish philology. I also work as a freelance writer.


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