The Socioenvironmental Impacts of Enotourism in Spain: How a more sustainable form of tourism can preserve local heritage, culture, and the environment

Authors: Larissa Simon*, University of Minnesota
Topics: Wine, Tourism Geography, Regional Geography
Keywords: wine, enotourism, Canary Islands, Rioja
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 3:05 PM / 4:45 PM
Room: Maryland B, Marriott, Lobby Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Spain is the third largest wine producer in the world, following France and Italy respectively. However, it has the greatest amount of land dedicated to the vinicultural sector. The current tourism industry is centered on mass tourism to coastal destinations. When tourists visit a beach location in Spain, and more specifically for example in the Canary Islands, they usually use charter airlines and take advantage of available package deals. This form of tourism is not just environmentally unsustainable, but is also culturally unsustainable. Tourists that go on these kinds of vacations are generally not looking to interact with the local culture in any way. They go for the beach, and the location or culture of the country in which the beach is located is of little to no significance. This limits touristsā€™ perceptions of host cultures, while perpetuating local stereotypes about Northern Europeans, who Spaniards say go to the Canary Islands or other beach locations and exploit their natural resources and environment. This paper assesses the cultural and environmental effects of the current tourism industry, as well as the enotourism industry that has begun to expand in recent years. Two regions will be examined via academic articles: the Canary Islands and DenominacioĢn de Origen (DO) Rioja. We will conclude that the Spanish government should promote enotourism as a more sustainable form of tourism if properly executed.

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