We are excited to announce an exciting new partnership with Iter Vitis in an official move to become their trusted partner in providing wine experiences in its key destinations. Read on below for the official press release!
The official press release
As part of its effort to support the culture of the vine, winemaking and viticultural landscapes of the world’s known and lesser experienced wine destinations, Winerist is also committed to support the local culture, food and development of each of these destinations.
Winerist will be working closely with Iter Vitis in the following areas:
- Product Development
- Route to market
Diana Isac, CEO & Founder of Winerist says ‘Addressing digitalisation, product development, sustainability and route to market in the current, constantly changing world is a priority for both of our organisations. Tackling these issues will allow Winerist and Iter Vitis the opportunity to work together to support local players and their communities, especially in areas of such great importance on an international level.’
Winerist and Iter Vitis will deploy the use of WineristGO! across all Iter Vitis partners, an innovative reservation system to be used by wineries, tour operators, wine hotels and restaurants to sell experiences directly to consumers. WineristGO! is the first ever reservation system built by an organisation which has experience with selling wine experiences online first. ‘The system that we have built is based on 7 years of working with wineries, wine tour operators, hotels and restaurants. We have asked them questions, engaged with them on their problems and built a system which has the needs of wine hospitality in mind. Unlike our competitors, we have built our technology for the wine industry players alone. We want to continue to improve it and work with our existing partners and new suppliers to make the technology better and more robust for them on an ongoing basis’ says Diana Isac, CEO of Winerist.
‘We will work closely with strategic partners along the wine routes including Wine Meridian, USAID and others. Our aim throughout will be to cooperate with the Iter Vitis established wine routes to ensure that our partners feel supported and have the confidence to work with the system. What is most appealing about WineristGO! is the fee structure. There is no upfront cost, there is no monthly fee. There is a 3% commission to Winerist for every successful booking that goes through the provider’s website. We are very proud to be working with the team at Winerist on a first of its kind reservation system’ says Emanuela Panke, President of Iter Vitis.
In addition to that we will work with our partners to help them in other areas where they have little support and expertise, especially in multi languages. Winerist is the only global wine travel provider to also have a Digital Marketing agency specialised in working with wine tourism providers. We will work on building extensive content and SEO strategies, help them build and improve websites and develop Social Media, Email Marketing and Customer loyalty programme strategies from start to finish.
‘We rely heavily on digital marketing as an industry and even though we are a bit late to the party, it does not mean that we cannot play catchup! We are uniquely positioned to do so now that our sector is getting so much attention from platforms like Airbnb, Expedia and Klook. But there is a lot of work to be done and Winerist is here to support us in this work’ says EP.
Iter Vitis wants to offer its partners, thanks to the partnership with a global partner such as Winerist, a level for marketing and support for the green and digital transition. We are talking about the value of sustainability and the value of certifications but we must be able to support the network also in the last step: the opening of promotion and sales channels for the territories.
In this post Covid world, but also due to the current economic situation on a global scale, the wine hospitality industry has to adapt on a constant basis. We often come across websites that have not changed in over a decade. But we also come across products such as wine tours that have not changed in over 5 years. We find that customers now are expecting to pay for a service, but they want it to be as close to perfect as possible. Pricing is also a big issue and setting a guide to how to correctly price your tour is something that the organisations are here to assist with.
I have been working in wine tourism for about 20 years and I have seen the birth of hundreds of wine roads, organisations, and associations to support the territory, both public and private, but all have run aground on the obstacle of creating and selling a concrete product, the associations can be crucial to select companies, to create the area brand but then pricing and sales must be defined by specialised tour operators, and Winerist is the market leader at the moment.
The market has changed beyond recognition. Not only because of Covid, but also because of the impact the climate crisis has had on our industry and the energy and economic crisis resulting from the war in Europe. These factors are continuing to push the consumer towards different choices, especially in tourism. They are aware and demanding of the need for sustainability and they hold the people they visit accountable every step of the way.
‘Sustainable tourism is not solely about eating certain products or not using plastic. This expands to extending the duration of stays, choosing soft mobility for on-site, opting for moving between destinations that are easily reached by train, choosing experiences that also involve the locals who become protagonists of a tourist product and do not suffer from it. The intervention of a professional to remodel, recreate, surprise becomes imperative with the support of capillary networks of local collaborators who know the reality of the territory and its protagonists.’ says EP
Route to market
When it comes to selling products online, the wine travel industry is struggling with identifying the best route to market. ‘The biggest challenge we have is to understand how to sell to local (Italian customers) and international customers. They search and find us online on different websites, they have various expectations from a language perspective, they expect verified reviews and so on and so forth. We have an opportunity to work with Iter Vitis and Winerist to define our strategies and decide where to focus our marketing, depending on our financial possibilities, seasonality and of course, our team size.’ says Lillo Barbera, a winery and wine hotel owner in Sicily.
The duo will aim to help wineries understand the competitive landscape – in location, in region and on a global scene and support them by building good habits at an early stage and reinforcing those behaviours over time.
We are excited about this partnership more than many others before this one. It is such a perfect fit and a great opportunity to do something that can shift the landscape of wine tourism for good.