Sustainable Wine Tourism

In order to proceed and benefit from the full potential of its operational capacity, Burrowing Owl estate must pay particular attention to Lisa Poitras and Donald Getz’s research report by the title “Sustainable Wine Tourism”.  In particular, out of the issues that were dealt with (economic, environmental, social, agriculture, agriculture and tourism), the stakeholders were unanimous in choosing a set of issues in the “tourism” category as most pertinent to the issue at hand. In dealing with the issue of tourism in The Town of Oliver, British Columbia, it is important to first acknowledge that regional, provincial or even a national wine tourism plan is lacking. The only way Burrowing Owl estate can move forward and avoid retrogressive pitfalls is by having a succinct plan from the local or national government that would provide guidance and buttress their efforts in promoting wine tourism. Additionally, such a plan would serve as a blueprint that acts as a reference point whenever matters of concern in wine tourism come up.

Additionally, the research report details how the general attitude of the community around Burrowing Owl estate affects the strides taken in tourism. The report features information about the fact that the Town of Oliver, which is a large metropolitan area, lacks something as simple as a tourism plan. Moreover, the researchers note that the only plan in the town, namely the Oliver Community Plan happens to place little focus on tourism. As a result, the residents of this town subsequently end up paying little attention to matters tourism, let alone the nascent wine tourism (Poitras, 2005, p. 434). A change that starts from the resident’s mindset to the town’s community plan would go a long way in preparing the road for a positive reception to wine tourism in The Town of Oliver, British Columbia. Furthermore, tourists seasonal nature has been singled out as a challenge plaguing businesses and eventually deterring investments. Most investors fear to lose their money as a result of investing in a “White Elephant” of some sort, which would benefit them during certain occasions (high seasons) and the amount of massive losses during others(low season).

The absence of accurate records on the exact figures of the visitors that visit this area, tourist demands and their behavior also needs to be dealt with immediately. Knowing the number of tourists, their behavioral pattern and their preference is important in allowing the town to make logistical plans on how best to plan for their visits and how to tailor their experience to be unique for each. It is also noteworthy to mention that The Town of Oliver should not develop a DependencySyndrome on only one type of tourism as it could make it vulnerable to the many changes that occur in the financial market. It is evident that Oliver’s services and retail are weak, from the limited business hours that it has. Such an Achille’s Heel would result in losses courtesy of the leakages in transactions that would have been made during this period. The town also has poor directional signage which means that if one was to drive through the town, they would most likely “miss” the existence of a vibrant wine industry.

From the stakeholder’s analysis and input, it is important to note that there are strengths that can be capitalized upon to make the wine tourism vibrant across the region. One strength that can be the stakeholders were able to single out is the good reputation the area has for the production of quality wine. People often relate tales of wealthy individuals who travel all the way to southern France to chateaus that are known worldwide for the production of quality wine. These individuals are ready to pay any price Bordeaux wine that is of high quality. People pay for quality, no matter how expensive the product in question is. On the flipside, there is a weakness in our approach of basing Burrowing Owl estate’s operations in The Town of Oliver. As per Canadian records, the town has a population of 4, 824 people, which according to our standards is very small. A town with a small population means that there is a high probability that the firm would have to outsource labor and have a small local market for their products. However, there is a silver lining in the form of developing wine events that run all year round to promote a wine drinking culture in the area. Locals would have an opportunity to taste different varieties of wine, taste wine, health benefits, get information about the production process and the business side of things. A noticeable threat is in the form of anti-change sentiments that exist in the area concerning the whole idea of wine tourism. It is important to note that there are those who support this venture, but there also exists a minority who oppose such plans in their locality as they view it as a disruption of their normal lives. Our overall strategy would be that of involving the local community in our endeavors in a bid to make them own the brand and see it as their own, rather than a product of Burrowing owl estate.

A potential area of conflict is the changes that the tourism industry will bring to the small town. It is rather obvious that life will not be the same in The Town of Oliver as the population would swell during the high season and investors would to this new “oasis” of opportunities to make a buck or two. The backlash would be that most of the individuals in this community would oppose the project as it disrupts life in the area. Some would argue, that it would attract new immigrants in the area would not have the wellbeing of the town and its citizens as their priority as they are essential, people in “transit”, looking for a better opportunity. To deal with this issue, it would be prudent to conduct a sensitization campaign. With the right information, the town’s population will be able to demystify the mystery surrounding this new frontier in tourism. It the stakeholder’s suggestions that meetings and open forums be held in the town hall where fruitful discourses can be used to reassure the inhabitants of the town of the estate’s commitment to ensuring that the needs of the town are put into consideration and part of the proceeds from wine tourism goes into development projects across The Town of Oliver.

Before taking this course, I the idea of having a vibrant wine tourism sector seemed far-fetched to me. Never had I thought that organizations and conglomerates could harness the full potential of wine tourism and make it a large contributor to the revenue of a local government and the whole country at large. After taking this course I have come to the realization, the tapping fully into wine tourism could provide an alternative industry capable of benefitting many both directly and indirectly(Carlsen & Charters, 2012). Proceeds from wine tourism could be used to develop the small town into an even larger metropolis, open it to trade and allow the townspeople to interact with tourists who would be delighted to parley with them and exchange ideas and cultures.

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