A Supply-Side Stakeholder Analysis of Rural Wine Tourism Development: The Case of Lake Erie's Southern Shore

A Supply-Side Stakeholder Analysis of Rural Wine Tourism Development: The Case of Lake Erie's Southern Shore

Donna Quadri-Felitti (New York University, New York, NY, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/ijsesd.2015040105

Abstract

This exploratory study assessed the cohesiveness and discord among four separate supply-side stakeholder groups in the US Chautauqua-Lake Erie wine region. Results from 17 ANOVA tests indicated agreement on many important issues, a departure from previous studies in tourism (; ). Disagreement was shown about marketing, community appreciation for, and attention by government to wine tourism issues. The findings suggest more data are needed to source the causes of these disparities. Overall, the results signify a region ready for “the informed participation of all relevant stakeholders” () and stakeholder collaboration that is requisite for sustainable tourism development.
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Introduction

Wine tourism continues to be nurtured as an economic driver for rural destinations while concerns about sustainable tourism development have grown reciprocally. Stakeholder identification (Currie, Seaton, & Wesley, 2009) and participation (Landorf, 2009) has been recognized as critical to implementation of sustainable strategies. Increasingly sustainable tourism has been recognized as being differently “defined, interpreted, and implemented” (Lu & Nepal, 2009, p. 5) by various stakeholders. Rural wine tourism includes diverse businesses (e.g., lodging, retail, wineries, dining) within the supply-side stakeholder group. Employing a broader range of tourism suppliers in this inaugural research, the necessary knowledge and collaboration identified as necessary in sustainable development (Lu & Nepal, 2009) is more fully understood and therefore sustainability may be realized.

Rural tourism, of which wine tourism is a form, is considered a mechanism for economic development (Fleischer & Felsenstein, 2000; Gartner, 2004; Hall, Kirkpatrick, & Mitchell, 2005; Page & Getz, 1997; Richardson, 2004; Vargas-Vargas & Mondejar-Jimenez, 2010). A convergence of global forces such as urbanization, rural poverty, and changes in regulations governing wine distribution has led to diversification of rural economies with strategies such as wine tourism (Boyne, Hall, & Williams, 2003; Colman, 2008; Sznajder, Przezborska, & Scrimgeour, 2009). As an economic diversification strategy, rural tourism has been promoted by the cooperative extension offices of US land-grant universities (Brown & Reeder, 2007; Gartner, 2004). Entrepreneurial and legislative support for developing this segment of tourism has been documented (Fleischer & Felsenstein, 2000; Page & Getz, 1997; Sznajder et al., 2009; Wilson, D. Fesenmaier, J. Fesenmaier, & van Es, 2001) whereas Hall and Jenkins (1998) inventoried a variety of policy instruments including financial incentives implemented by governments for promoting rural tourism development.

Policymakers support may be based on the growth of the wine industry and winery visits as part of the New World wine industry. For instance, wine tourists in Australia spent AUD$7.1b on travel in (Tourism Research Australia, 2010) while in the same year of 2009 California wine regions hosted 20.7 million tourists who spent US$2.1b (California Wine Institute, 2011). By 2004 wine tourism was contributing $75 million to Michigan’s economy (Wargenau & Che, 2006) and a year later generated over 800,000 visitors to North Carolina (Evans, Pollard, & Holder, 2008). Bonded wineries exist in all 50 states in the US which has seen a decade rise in wine grape production and new wineries totaling over 6,600 by 2010 (Hodgen, 2011).

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