Modelling a Conceptual Framework for the Wine Tourism System: A Case Study of the Wine Tourism Industry in India

Modelling a Conceptual Framework for the Wine Tourism System: A Case Study of the Wine Tourism Industry in India

Anupama S. Kotur (Symbiosis Center for Management Studies, Symbiosis International University (Deemed), India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2204-2.ch009


Wine tourism is a synthesis of elements from the wine and tourism industries that come together to form the wine tourism experience. Several elements form a part of a much larger wine tourism system and contribute directly and/or indirectly to creating and developing a wine tourism destination. Maharashtra in India has come to be popularly known as the ‘wine bowl' of India, producing some of the award-winning and internationally acclaimed wines. This chapter aims to examine all those elements that have played a part in and are necessary to develop a competitive and sustainable wine tourism destination in Maharashtra. The singular objective of this research chapter is to propose a conceptual framework of the wine tourism system. The research largely relies on secondary data as well as results of previous empirical researches conducted by the author. The wider contribution of this chapter lies in developing and illustrating a model of wine tourism system. This system model can be instrumental in defining all those components that are most critical to the growth of a wine tourism destination.
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Maharashtra, in India has been a pioneer and frontrunner in wine tourism the country has witnessed since early 2000s. Maharashtra is home to largest numbers of vineyards in India that offer a wide range of wine tourism products and services such as vineyard resorts, vineyard restaurants, wine festivals, vineyard-based events and wine tours clubbed with various vineyard based activities for wine tourists. Wine tourism, as a form of special interest tourism is witnessing small but significant level of growth in the recent years. While the wine industry has demonstrated phenomenal success wine tourism remains to experience a similar high growth rate. Almost two decades after organised wine tourism began in early 2000 in Maharashtra; the quantum of growth has been rather sluggish. Some of the larger wineries, however, have successfully ventured and succeeded in turning wine tourism initiatives into profitable ventures, many a smaller vineyards are yet to undertake wine tourism development within their vineyards fervently.

Indian Wine Industry

The Indian wine industry experienced a steady growth starting from the year 2000 and wine culture has gradually become a part of urban life style as an alternate to traditionally preferred hard liquor. Indian wines are making their presence felt in the global wine markets with some of their unique varietals. ‘With a young population, increasing urbanisation and the position of wine as a ‘status choice’, India has parallels with other Asian markets where there is a growing acceptance and preference for wine among the upper and middle classes’ (Morley, NA). For the year 2017-18 Indian wine industry clocked ‘a CAGR of about 20 per cent’. In India, grapes are cultivated in ‘an area of 111.4 thousand ha with a total production 1,234.9 thousand tons’ (APEDA, 2018). Of the total grapes produced in the country around 1.2% is processed into wine. Wineries in India have also expanding their export portfolio into major countries like, France, Italy, Germany, USA, UK, Singapore, Belgium, etc. The export of wine is expected to grow at 9% per annum. With opportunities, so immense, wine tourism in the country is but a natural beneficiary. ‘Growing interest in wines, constant demand for novel tourism experiences and increasing disposition to spend in order to meet those demands among the au courant Indian travellers are the crucial factors for the growth of wine tourism in India’ (Kaddi, 2013). At this juncture, it becomes imperative to study the overall business eco system the wineries operate in that support the inclusion and development of wine tourism facilities within their wine business framework. While globally there are many studies pertaining to wine tourism systems and wine tourism experience models, very little or none exist in an Indian context. This lacuna presented an opportunity to the author for carrying out research in this area.

This study was undertaken with a singular objective of proposing a conceptual framework for wine tourism system that demonstrates and illustrates all those factors forming a part of the overall eco system of wine tourism industry in Maharashtra. The theoretical construct attempts to illustrate all factors that contribute – directly or indirectly – to the development and growth of wine tourism product. The research largely relies on secondary data as well as results from previous empirical research conducted by the author in the field of wine tourism motivation and wine tourism infrastructure. The wide-ranging contribution of this paper lies in modelling a general yet definitive framework for wine tourism system with specific reference to Maharashtra. The framework can be particularly useful to policy makers and strategic decision makers in areas relating to wine tourism product development in Maharashtra and India in general.

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