UNCG Campus Weekly

Campus Weekly is published each Wednesday when classes are in session. In the summer, it is published biweekly.

Southern hospitality goes well with wine

013013Feature_WineThe key to the continued growth of North Carolina’s wine tourism industry may be one of the state’s longstanding hallmarks: Southern hospitality.

That hospitality — in the form of excellent customer service — ranked as the top feature prompting consumers to visit a winery, according to a new research study on tourism to North Carolina’s wineries led by Dr. Erick Byrd (Hospitality and Tourism Management) in the Bryan School.

The research was funded by the North Carolina Division of Tourism, Film and Sports Development, the Department of Commerce and UNCG. Dr. Bonnie Canziani, Dr. Yu-Chin “Jerrie” Hsieh and Dr. Keith Debbage also participated in the study.

North Carolina is home to many award-winning wineries, but the state’s nascent wine industry lacks the brand association of Sonoma Valley, Napa Valley or France, Byrd said. What does resonate with consumers is the story behind the product. “Customer service is where it’s at,” he said. “It helps create a story.”

The report gives important guidance on how to promote tourism opportunities in the state, said Wit Tuttell, director of tourism marketing for the North Carolina Division of Tourism, Film and Sports Development.

Full story – including other key findings from the study – are at UNCG News.

By Lanita Withers Goins