Wine tourism beyond wine production: Tanisha Townsend’s insights from UNWTO Global Conference


Tanisha Townsend, one of the winners of Wine Travel Awards 2021-2022, is the Chief Wine Officer of Girl Meets Glass, a wine lifestyle and education agency. Originally from the US, Tanisha currently lives in Paris and creates unique wine experiences for expats and tourists. Passionate about tourism and education, she also teaches courses and seminars on the business of wine and enotourism. 

At the end of September 2022 Tanisha was the panel moderator at the 6th edition of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Global Conference on Wine Tourism, held in the famous Italian wine region, Piedmonte. 

The UNWTO Global Conference has a major influence on the wine travel industry, providing excellent business networking opportunities and exchange of information. The panels and discussions can be found on the YouTube channel to be watched by those that couldn’t attend. “Sharing information in multiple ways through multiple channels will definitely strengthen the industry,” thinks Tanisha Townsend. She has shared her impression of the event with WTA:

“The panel in which I took part was named “Wine tourism pairs with innovation”. One of the issues we discussed was, how can we actually make the winery visitors’ experience unique? When guests arrive at a vineyard or for a tasting, there should be more to the offerings than just the wine or a visit to the barrel room. Wine can be showcased with food pairings, culture, art, etc. Also important it to show the landscape of the region and the vineyard to tourists

Flexibility is a key to success these days. Guests want flexibility in making their travel plans. Can a guest book an experience at the last minute, is the cancellation policy clearly stated? Making these things easier for clients to figure out is very beneficial.

Ease in searching helps to promote your business. How can information be found? So many wineries and destinations don’t have their offerings clearly listed, and some they don’t even have a website or social media. People cannot patronize and support a business that they cannot find.

I think that promotion of wine tourism offerings is one of the biggest challenges to the wine industry. You can have the best experience ever at your winery or in your region, but if no one knows about it, it can’t be successful.”

We cannot agree more, and we are glad to join our efforts in the promotion of wine tourism worldwide!