Iter Vitis is a cultural route of the Council of Europe dedicated to wine landscapes and the heritage of wine production that has forged civilisations. This Cultural Route unites different wine producing countries including France, Croatia, Israel, Spain, Portugal, Russia, Georgia and Azerbaijan. It is a point of discovery for Europe’s heritage taking a journey through ancient vineyards, beautiful landscapes, ancient villages, monuments and wine territories.
Azerbaijan was recently selected as member country at Iter Vitis General Assembly in November 2019 held in Croatia. Given Europe’s wine traditions are considered to have begun in the Caucasian region, the European Institute of Cultural Routes and Azerbaijan Tourism Board decided to establish Iter Vitis Caucasus which will gather Azerbaijan, Georgia and Russia to explore wine heritage and provide the basis for sustainable tourism throughout the whole region. Florian Sengstschmid, CEO of Azerbaijan Tourism Board welcomed international guests on 26-27 January in Bakú and gave an introduction to Azerbaijan’s wine tourism development strategy.
Iter Vitis Cultural Route President, Emanuela Panke gave a workshop on food and wine tour principles and guidelines. She noted the importance of cross-border collaboration as culture and heritage will have the potential to attract long-haul travellers, that will select the Caucasus as a three-stop destination for understanding the heritage of wine development.
IGCAT’s President, Diane Dodd was invited to the meeting as a closing speaker and gave an interactive workshop on demands and trends for new wine and food destinations. She emphasised the economic benefits but also the challenges in developing Top Visitor Experiences in order to support regional development.
The initiative has been led by Sharifa Hasanova, Head of Product Development of Azerbaijan Tourism Board who reported on achievements of wine tourism development and added that “collaboration in wine and food tourism is of fundamental importance for people to come together and build a brighter future together.”
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