Campaign to support wine tourism launches

Destination BC, B.C.’s tourism marketing organization, has launched a special campaign to promote wine tourism as part of B.C. Wine Month.

The advertising and promotional campaign draws attention to opportunities for British Columbians and visitors to experience B.C. wine.

“Thousands of people visit British Columbia each year to explore and enjoy our wineries,” said Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture. “Culinary tourism is one of the fastest-growing segments of the travel industry, and we want more people to visit our wine regions all year around. This campaign will inform people about the wine and culinary adventures that are available in B.C. This is one way our government is working to ensure B.C. tourism operators involved in this sector continue to thrive.”

In March 2018, the Province committed $150,000, through Destination BC, for a special marketing campaign to encourage B.C. residents to add wine and food touring to their 2018 vacation plans. Television commercials, videos and advertisements in print and social media have been created for this new campaign, which was launched at the start of April. The campaign invites travellers to “swirl, sip and explore.”

“With more travellers guided by their taste buds and the distinctive quality of B.C.’s wine and culinary experiences, we are perfectly positioned to capture a greater share of local visitors and world travellers,” said Marsha Walden, president and CEO of Destination BC.

B.C. Wine Month showcases world-class wines produced in B.C.’s recognized wine regions, and beyond. It features an online contest to win a trip for two to the Chef Meets Grape Taste of Okanagan event, wine and food pairing events in all 18 British Columbia Vintners Quality Alliance (BC VQA) wine stores and BC VQA wine-paired dinners.

“We are grateful for provincial support to promote the many B.C. grape growers and wineries, most of which are small, family-owned and operated businesses, here at home,” said Miles Prodan, president and CEO of the BC Wine Institute. “We are celebrating all things grown, crushed, raised and produced in B.C., and working with restaurants, liquor stores, tourism organizations, including Destination BC, and wineries throughout the province in a collaboration of efforts to support B.C. Wine Month.”

B.C. Wine Month will also tie into Buy BC: Eat Drink Local, a dine-out campaign funded by the Ministry of Agriculture, and run by the BC Restaurant and Food Services Association. This promotion involves B.C. restaurants and bars highlighting local foods and beverages to customers during May 2018, so British Columbians can experience restaurant preparation of B.C.-grown and produced food and beverages.

Quick Facts:

  • British Columbia is home to 929 vineyards, including more than 350 licensed wineries.
  • According to the BC Wine Institute, B.C. wineries won over 2,000 medals in national and international competitions in 2017, more than ever before.
  • There are 4,130 hectares of wine grapes grown in B.C.
  • More than 60 grape varietals are produced in the province, including Merlot, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Gewürztraminer, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc.
  • 58 per cent of B.C. residents consider their province an appealing wine touring destination, and 37 per cent are likely to engage in wine touring in B.C. in the next two years.
  • In 2016, B.C. wine exports increased four per cent over the previous year to $9.7 million, and were shipped to 17 international markets.
  • The top international markets for B.C. wine in 2016 were China (54%), Taiwan (23%) and the United States (11%).
  • B.C.’s wine industry employs about 12,000 people, and contributes approximately $2.8 billion per year to the B.C. economy.

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