Argolida, Greece: The Next Napa Valley?
The agrotourism potential of the Argolida-Corinthos area was explored last week by a group of concerned professionals, members of an agrotourism cluster, who decided to seek insight from an expert in the field on how an area with good wine could become an ultimate tourism destination.
By invitation of the U.S. Embassy in Athens, Clay Gregory, President and CEO of Visit Napa Valley (VNV), visited the wineries in the Nemea area of the Peloponnese and gave insight on how VNV promotes, protects and enhances the Napa Valley destination.
On Monday, 3 June, Mr. Gregory met with local wine makers and members of the agrotourism cluster at the Fougaro cultural center in Nafplion.
There, he gave a presentation on the “Tourism Marketing of the Napa Valley” and presented facts and figures regarding the destination marketing of Napa Valley.
Napa Valley’s success is a result of private initiative
Mr. Gregory analyzed the success model of Napa Valley, which “totally relies on the private sector, concerned citizens and collaboration.”
“The Napa Valley is a thriving agricultural area, a unique characteristic within the San Francisco Bay Area. This is thanks to a group of concerned citizens who in 1968 had the foresight to create the first Agricultural Preserve in the United States,” he said.
“Collaboration, Collaboration, Collaboration!”
Mr. Gregory said the “keys” to the success of Napa Valley include the incredible natural resources and wonderful location, the regional commitment to highest quality, ongoing innovation, authenticity and sustainability and the meaningful reliable funding for effective and appropriate marketing.
However, the most important key of Napa Valley’s success was the spirit of collaboration between private stakeholders.
“Collaboration, Collaboration, Collaboration,” Mr. Gregory said.
Napa tourism spending hit $1.4 billion in 2012
According to Mr. Gregory, Napa Valley hosted 2.94 million visitors in 2012 that spent $1.39 billion in direct tourism spending.
In Napa Valley, day-trippers account for the largest segment of tourism but those staying overnight at hotels represent the biggest spenders, according to 2012 figures.
Overnight tourists were the source of $1.02 billion in spending last year, which was 73.6 percent of the total ($1.39 billion), according to the study. The average per-person, per-day spending for visitors staying overnight was $355.
The above data translates to 10,500 people employed in the Napa Valley visitor industry and $300 million in payroll.
From that, $51.7 million was generated in tax revenue for local governments, which translates to $1,041 per household in Napa Valley.
Argolida Agro Tourism Cluster project
Mr. Gregory’s visit signifies the realization of the first phase of the agrotourism cluster project which aims to form an agro-tourism proposition for Greece.
The cluster has been launched by Danae Bezantakou, Managing Director at Navigator Shipping Consultants, President of iforU and Cofounder at Greek Food Obsessions.
Members of the cluster are professionals in the area of tourism, agriculture, funding and branding.