Will the Wildfires Affect California Wine Country Tourism?

Summary: I am doing a study on interest in California Wine Country tourism. Its purpose is to understand how the October 2017 wildfires influence interest in visiting Wine Country counties — Napa, Sonoma, Lake, Mendocino and Solano. This study is important because many wineries depend on wine tourism for their livelihood. I’m inviting you to participate – it takes just a few minutes. Click this link to join the study. I will share the results here on LinkedIn and with Wine Country organizations to help with their marketing and communications. Your answers will contribute to giving great advice.

Here’s why I’m doing the research and asking you to take part: Two of my family members suffered damages from the Northern California wildfires. For one, only a chimney and incinerated car remain. The other met with little harm, just some smoke damage and debris outside the home, both easily cleaned. The first faces a period of disruption and rebuilding. The second returned to near-normal just a few days after the evacuation order lifted. My family’s experience echoed that now going on in Wine Country, today an assortment of structures burned and unburned, vineyard survivors and victims, intact infrastructure and that needing repair. The impacts vary from one winery, restaurant, or business to the next, like those experienced within my family.

Although I don’t live there, my Wine Country connections run deep. I visit as often as I can. Some readers may know that I do research on wine, with a special interest in raising the contribution of online wine sales directly by wineries to their revenue mix. Through that work I’ve developed and enjoy personal and business relationships with wineries of all types and outstanding wine people.

Small and mid-sized wineries, especially, rely on wine tourism for the all-important direct-to-consumer revenue—tasting room sales, wine club subscriptions, gift shop sales, and event sales from weddings, corporate meetings, reunions, and so forth.

I wondered if the wildfires would affect interest in Wine Country tourism and, by extension, the potential impacts on winery’s DTC revenue. I wanted to know which ideas people hold that would stimulate or depress interest in touring Wine Country now. Do those vary by age, gender, or by having visited in the past? Do the ideas fall into mindsets that can be applied to segmenting potential visitors and promoting the most persuasive messages to them?

To answer these questions, I created a study using the BigMind app.

I’m inviting you to participate in the study. Click this link to join the study. It takes just a few minutes. As mentioned above I’ll share the results in a follow-up LinkedIn article, and with Wine Country organizations who may find the results helpful to their marketing and communication efforts designed to stimulate wine tourism.

Thanks in advance for participating.

Author: stephenrappaport

I write and consult on achieving brand growth. I serve as the Global Digital Advisor for Sunstar, Inc., a global manufacturer of consumer products. I am a Senior Fellow at Wharton’s SEI Center for Advanced Studies in Management, and the author of 3 books on digital marketing and measurement.