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Wine tourism, despite having grown rapidly in recent years, has not yet fully developed its potential, especially (and it is a paradox) in countries with an ancient tradition such as the European Nations.
Yet, a wine tourism holiday is not “just” a visit to the cellars to taste excellent wines. More, it is an experience that involves different ages and even those who are not inveterate “wine lovers”. Wine tourism implies cultural and artistic choices and, therefore, a wealth of knowledge that enriches the user.
In order for this experience to be complete and invite the visitor to repeat it on other occasions, the entire chain of professionalism must be able to satisfy the user in her/his curiosity to know. Often, this does not happen yet and it is probably also for this reason that wine tourism is still struggling.
Spain, a country with an important (wine) tourism tradition, is home to a school entirely dedicated to the training of wine tourism experts.
Helena Nieto Burgos, head of the “Escuela de Enotourismo Castilla y León“, talks about the objectives and uses of this innovative training project.
When was the school born and what objectives set at its birth were achieved?
The Escuela Superior de Enotourismo began its journey in 2016, with the 1st Edition of the Enotourism Guide Course, the first training course for enotourist guides. Since then, nearly 90 professionals have trained as wine tourism specialists and over 70% continue to carry out their professional activity in the sector.
In 2019, we expanded our training to the online methodology with our “Expert in Wine Tourism” and “English For Wine” courses.
In 2020, we have adapted and inaugurated the Continuing Training Program specialized in Enotourism for organizations and companies. The following year, our project, in collaboration with public and private bodies, became a point of reference for the current wine tourism training.
Among its main goals:
- Professionalize the wine tourism sector. The best professionals who work for wineries, wine museums, wine tourism centers, travel agencies, guides;
- Highlight training needs and possible market failures in the wine tourism sector;
- Implement improvements in our students’ skills and abilities;
- Offer new professional orientations within the tourism sector, so that there are more specializations;
- Offer quality training in the wine tourism sector.
Your school is truly one of a kind because it focuses on an aspect that represents the future of the very existence of wine culture: the training of wine tourism professionals. What courses do you offer, both face-to-face and online, also for international users?
Our frontal training is the most complete in the wine tourism sector and includes:
- 500 hours (200 lessons + 300 practices);
- Single annual call;
- Limited seats;
- Wine tourism expert;
- 100% Online E-Learning Training;
- 6 months to do it;
- 2 annual calls;
- Spanish for wine tourism and export;
- First and only 100% On Line introductory course in technical English;
- Designed for industry professionals;
- Open all the year;
- Continuing Education – I Enotourism Membership;
- Online training for up to 250 users;
- More than 10 specialized courses open for 365 days;
- Community of users;
- Incident response in 24 hours;
- Advanced courses;
- Live online lessons held by wine tourism representatives;
- Possibility of extension to seminars;
- A la carte courses Personalized courses designed for you;
- Web seminar;
- ENOasesorías – Advice to wineries;
- Complete and partial warehouse management;
- Marketing plans for wine tourism companies;
- On/offline communication strategy;
- Organization of Fam, Press & Blog Trip;
- Management of wine tourism events.
What kind of students participate in the courses and with what objectives do they select one course instead of another?
Our school has a varied number of students, many of whom are already professionals working in the sector (wineries, wine museums, public companies in the tourism or wine tourism sector but also organizations, associations, such as Wine Roads, Regulatory Councils, Wine Clubs , etc.) others aspire to devote themselves to the wine tourism sector or want to expand their training in the sector.
Those who choose our school know they have many advantages:
- More than 20 courses with study material, lectures, live video lessons and complementary material;
- Professional teachers with extensive experience in the wine tourism and educational sector;
- The most complete program that exists with contents on tourism, viticulture, communication, tastings, English, marketing, sales;
- The most complete training model, adapted to all people and circumstances;
- Updated agenda to keep up to date on the latest developments in the sector;
- Several student promotions support us;
- Over 70% work in the sector. Access to our job bank.
What further objectives does your training offer in the medium and long term to reach an ever wider audience interested in finding professional opportunities in the sector in a country that is constantly developing on this front like Spain?
The Higher School of Wine Tourism works to make wine tourism a tool for social revitalization in Castilla y León. It intends to advise on a global aspect for the development of our region. The aim of the training is the professionalization of the sector, this also implies the consultancy and training of wine tourism complexes and wineries in the realization of their objectives and the developments of its wine tourism departments. Our teachers and consultants have experience in developing their own models of success which they share with our students and collaborators.