Hospitality Industry & Wine Tourism

Following is a list of topics, news, tourism and wine travel items I think you will enjoy:


Dealing with Difficult Guests


How to Deal with an Upset Customer

Tips to Deal with an Upset Customer in hotelsHotels, more than almost any business, market themselves to the individualized needs of their customers. There are few industries more attuned to the comprehensive customer experience. A store will sell a product and a restaurant will sell food, but a hotel is selling the ultimate customer experience.

Accordingly, most hotels focus on how to create the perfect getaway for guests. However, no matter how many things a hotel does well, there will inevitably be some unhappy customers. Even the most popular, acclaimed hotels have guests who feel wronged. While it may be tempting to write off an unhappy customer, it is rarely good for business. In fact, hotels can shine when customers are the most upset. The trick is knowing how to respond to an unhappy guest.

All hotels should have a plan to deal with complaints. This plan should be in writing and disseminated to the entire staff. Employees should be familiar with the process, which means that training is often beneficial. While this plan may vary for each hotel, consider the nine following steps to get started.

1. Stay calm. Most customers who complain are agitated. After all, many customers will not make a complaint unless they feel something is very wrong. If customers do not feel passionately about a given issue, they are likely to go about their business with no thought at all. When customers bring a problem to the attention of the staff, it is usually because they are emotionally invested in the issue.

In many ways, this can make things much more difficult. Emotions often lead people to act unreasonably, which can make such customers harder to manage. Moreover, when someone approaches an employee emotionally, they are more likely to elicit an emotional response. This response may be defensive, which will only exacerbate the conflict.

Therefore, before doing anything else, remember to stay calm. No matter how upset the customer is, do not get emotional in the response. Stay cool and collected. Remember that the initial response will have a huge impact on how well the issue is resolved. If a customer is greeted with defensiveness, it is likely to build hostility. A calm approach is more likely to diffuse the situation.

Top 10 Wine Destinations


Going wine tasting is a charming way to spend a day or a weekend. It is so enjoyable, in fact, that wine tasting has become a vacation in itself. Wine tourism has increased in the past 10 years and many wineries around the globe now provide exquisite tasting rooms with scenic vineyard views, wine tasting dinners, and tours of the vineyards and cellars. An oeno-experience, one might say.  

(Story from the Huffington Post - Read it all HERE)

A 'Wine City', Twice the size of Monaco to be built in China


Expected to cover an area of four square kilometers

Changyu (张裕), one of China's major winemakers, is planning to build an “international wine city” in Yantai, Shandong Province, reported Chinanews.com (in simplified Chinese only).

Dubbed “Yantai Changyu International Wine City,” the project is expected to cover an area of four square kilometers -- twice the size of Monaco -- and cost RMB 6 billion (US$945 million) to build.

The plan was uncorked by Changyu’s general manager Zhou Hongjiang (周洪江) during the company’s 120th anniversary gala.

The new venture is also expected to launch China’s first 5A-class scenic spot in wine tourism as, according to Zhou, the "winetropolis" will include a 200,000-square-meter wine-themed tourist town.

The wine city is due to be completed in 2016 but the company is yet to announce when the project will break ground.

Welcome to Southern Utah!


New winery is about to open in Cedar City

Owner plans to first blend and bottle, then eventually grow grapes.

Cedar City • A new Utah winery is on the verge of corking its first bottle in Cedar City.

"It’s been a long time coming, and we’re looking forward to it," said Doug McComb, owner of the Iron Gate Winery label. McComb, a human resource manager for a resort in Las Vegas, has dabbled in winemaking there.  Read the rest of the story here.

Get Those Wine Millenials (Age 21 - 34)


press release

April 11, 2012, 12:03 p.m. EDT

The Big Top Comes to Town: Mutineer Magazine's Marvelous Millennial Wine Marketing Circus is Coming to a Town Near You

The First Millennial-Based Traveling Conference for the Forward-Thinking Winery Travels to California Wine Regions, May 14 to May 18, 2012

NAPA VALLEY, Calif., Apr 11, 2012 (GlobeNewswire via COMTEX) -- Ladies and gentleman, children of all ages, Mutineer Magazine is thrilled to announce the first-of-its-kind Millennial Wine Marketing Circus, a traveling conference that brings together Millennial wine marketing brands to speak to Millennial culture and its implications on the wine industry. The 2012 #WineCircus will visit five premier wine regions to offer insight on how to cultivate a love affair between wine brands and the Millennial market. During the week of May 14 - 18, six accomplished Millennial-focused entrepreneurs will take to the stage to offer valuable data, creative oddities and Millennial delights to wine industry professionals, free of charge.

"We've assembled an exceptional roster of marketing-savvy wine professionals to shed some light on the Millennial wine market," says Mutineer Magazine Editor-in-Chief and Publisher Alan Kropf. "Much of that conversation has been focused on social media fundamentals and spiritless reinvention. Now, for the first time, wine industry professionals will hear directly from Millennials who are changing modern wine culture with their inspired platforms and innovative methods of connecting Millennial consumers with wine brands."

This complimentary 2-hour workshop will dazzle attendees with grand discussions and inspired thoughts about the Millennial wine market with topics that include:

  • The Millennial Wine Consumer
  • Traditional PR in the Era of New Media
  • Next Level Social Media
  • Collaborative Marketing Strategies
  • Marketing Assets in the Era of New Media
  • Leveraging Tech to Collect Valuable Data
  • Connecting Your Brand With the Millennial Mind-Set
  • The Power of Beverage Culture

In 2011, The Wine Market Council reported that the Millennial market (defined as consumers between the ages of 21-34) is composed of 1.7 billion people worldwide and 77 million in the U.S. which is larger than the Baby Boomers and nearly three times the size of Generation X. Of the Millennial generation's wine drinking population 51% fall into the "core drinkers" category and pull corks at least once a week. 67% of those consumers reported to have purchased unknown brands frequently/occasionally. 32% of Millennials have traded over to wine, from beer or spirits, as their preferred fine beverage. 1

"Millennials are forcing industries to reinvent themselves and the wine industry is no different," said Morgan First, CEO and Co-Founder of Second Glass. "Join the circus and learn new social media and marketing feats that will allow you to navigate this new market with confidence."

The Line Up:

The magnanimous circus roustabout includes the following performers:

Morgan First, Second Glass: thesecondglass.com / @SecondGlass

-- Morgan is the networker, cheerleader, press liaison and the instigator/organizer behind the expansion of Second Glass. Morgan has blurred the line between marketing and technology to transform the wine tasting experience for Millenials. Both Morgan and Tyler's efforts have landed them praise in the New York Times, Huffington Post, and they were recently included in Inc's 30 under 30.

Tyler Balliet, Second Glass: thesecondglass.com / @SecondGlass

-- Second Glass was born out of Tyler's desire to transform wine tasting with technology and education. He developed the mobile application used in tandem with Wine Riot, a millennial focused event that empowers consumers with confidence and education in a fun, entertaining atmosphere. Tyler has been heralded as a new voice in the wine world and crowned "the prince of Boston's wine revolution" by Stuff Magazine.

Harry Oranges, Mutineer Magazine: mutineermagazine.com / @MutineerMag

-- Prior to joining the Mutineer Magazine team, Harry Oranges oversaw the digital PR and social media strategy of the first-ever Napa Valley Film Festival. A communicator at his core, Harry is quickly making his mark in the Millennial wine scene.

Alan Kropf, Mutineer Magazine: mutineermagazine.com / @MutineerMag

-- Alan is certified through the Court of Master Sommeliers, Wine & Spirit Education Trust, Cicerone and National Bartenders School. Alan has beverage experience at some of the world's more prestigious properties, including the Beverly Hills Hotel and Gordon Ramsay. He founded Mutineer Magazine in 2008, which was picked up for national distribution in 2009 and since then has won numerous beverage and publishing awards for his work with Mutineer, including Forbes Magazine's "30 Under 30", Zagat's "30 Under 30" for San Francisco, and Wine & Spirits Magazine's "30 Under 30".

Christophe Smith, Harvest Live: harvestlive.tv / @cork_dork

-- Christophe Smith is a ten year veteran of the wine industry and has worked in production, retail, marketing and national sales, although is best known for his creativity and achievements in social media. Currently a Producer at WineBizRadio.com, and has created Titus TV and Harvest Live, two popular web-based programs that create real world consumer engagement.

Ashley Nicole Teplin, Teplin+Nuss: teplinnuss.com / @TeplinNuss

-- Prior to starting her own agency, Ashley Nicole Teplin worked with the renowned Pamela Hunter at Studio-707. Pam and her colleagues pioneered an approach to traditional Public Relations that is today's standard. She was recently featured in North Bay Biz Magazine as a publicist integral in guiding the consistent online voice in 2012 in the article titled, "Inside the Millennial Mind."

Sarah Elliman, Cellar Pass: cellarpass.com/ @CellarPass

-- Sarah Elliman pioneers new ways to help wineries reach their target audience and increase consumer response, specifically with on-site visits. She applies her keen understanding of the customer/winery relationship at CellarPass, a real-time winery reservation system that helps customers discover and book wine tasting experiences. Resourceful and innovative, Sarah develops ways to enhance the guest experiences that lead to long lasting customer loyalty.

The Schedule + To Register: Admission is free to all registered participants on EventBrite. The Mutineer Magazine Marvelous Millennial Wine Marketing Circus will visit:

Calaveras County | May 14- Twisted Oak: twistedoak.com : http://winecircus2012calaveras.eventbrite.com

Santa Barbara | May 15- Firestone Winery: firestonewine.com : http://winecircus2012santabarbara.eventbrite.com

Paso Robles | May 16- EOS Wines: eosvintage.com : http://winecircus2012pasorobles.eventbrite.com

Sonoma Valley | May 17- Sebastiani Winery: sebastiani.com: http://winecircus2012sonoma.eventbrite.com

Napa Valley | May 18- Charles Krug: charleskrug.com: http://winecircus2012napa.eventbrite.com

About Mutineer Magazine: Established in 2008 and currently in its 20th issue, Mutineer Magazine introduces fine beverages to the Millennial generation, taking fine beverage culture from niche to the mainstream using a cultural, rather than commercial approach across multiple media platforms. The Mutinous beat encompasses wine, beer, spirits, non-alcoholic beverages and food. The print publication is distributed nationally in both regional stores and national chains such as Barnes and Noble, B. Dalton, Safeway, and Vons. MutineerMagazine.com.

(1) Wine Market Council's 2011 Consumer Tracking Study Final Report

Media Contact: Teplin+Nuss -- teplinnuss.com Ashley Nicole Teplin // ashley@teplinnuss.com - 310.210.3067 Holly Nuss // holly@teplinnuss.com - 415.845.1095

This information was brought to you by Cision http://www.cisionwire.com

http://www.cisionwire.com/mutineer-magazine/r/the-big-top-comes-to-town--mutineer-magazine-s-marvelous-millennial-wine-marketing-circus-is-coming- ,c9245286

But of course... Napa Valleys Meadowood Wins Wine Tourism Award


The international jury of Great Wine Capitals Global Network announced Meadowood Napa Valley as the 2012 International ‘Best Of Wine Tourism’ award recipient for the San Francisco/Napa Valley region at its annual meeting in Mainz, Germany.   Read the rest of the story here from the Napa Valley Register.

Wine Tourism Equals Big Profit


Napa Valley, CA - North America's first Wine Tourism Conference last week was nicely placed between the first Napa Valley Film Festival and the first Flavor Napa Valley culinary festival, two prime examples of wine country touristic possibilities.  The sold-out two-day conference attracted representatives from wineries and tourism organizations across North America.   Full story from winesandvines.com  here.

The First North American Wine Tourism Conference


The Napa Valley will play host to the first North American Wine Tourism Conference, which aims to highlight trends and issues that impact stakeholders within two sectors that are often intimately intertwined.  Read the full-story here.

Wine Tourism Taking Shape in Idaho


Tractors still dot the fruit-and-nut themed roads (Plum, Pecan, Apricot) of Canyon County’s Sunny Slope, but these days party-themed limousines and weekend wine tourists are also in evidence.

Read full story here.

Modern Travelers Have the Power


Last year, Americans took 1.9 billion trips for leisure and business purposes, generating more than $758 billion in direct expenditures. This number was expected to increase this year as more families ditched the "staycation" and took to the roads (and skies).  Read the full story here.

Gordon Ramsay Expands His Hospitality Hell


From the kitchen to the front desk - I'm interested to see how this chef can help struggling innkeepers with his new makeover show 'Hotel Hell'  Read the full story here.

Tired of Everyone Telling You About Social Media?


If you are like me, you’re probably tired of people telling you about the importance of social media.  I understand, but this visual from Capture Commerce certainly got my attention.  See it by clicking here.



Google Gobbles Zagat


Google announced today that it has purchased Zagat. Zagat's maroon pocket-sized guides have been a staple of tourists and travelers for decades, and now the reviews and ratings of restaurants, hotels, and other destinations can be incorporated into the vast "Googleverse". So, what does that mean for you and me?   From PC World Business Center.

Investigation of TripAdvisor Over Fake Reviews


TripAdvisor, the leading online travel reviews site in the world, is now under investigation by the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) over concerns reviews from travelers may be illegitimate. A formal investigation has reportedly been launched on the heels of complaints TripAdvisor’s reviews problems have reached monumental levels. 

Read the full story here on Argophilia.com.


$5 for 5 Star Reviews


In tens of millions of reviews on Web sites like Amazon.com, Citysearch, TripAdvisor and Yelp, new books are better than Tolstoy, restaurants are undiscovered gems and hotels surpass the Ritz.

Or so the reviewers say. As online retailers increasingly depend on reviews as a sales tool, an industry of fibbers and promoters has sprung up to buy and sell raves for a pittance.

Read more here.

Top 10 Cities for Business Travel


Travel expenses are going up: Air fares have gone up nearly 6 percent and hotel expenses have risen more than 4 percent in the past year, according to a new study.

The study by expense management firm Concur Technologies Inc.  (NASDAQ: CNQR), of Redmond, shows that of the top 10 spending categories in the U.S., only dining expenses, car rental costs and telecom costs have gone down in the past year.

Read the full story here

Facebook Research - 6 ways to Success


by Katie Clapp on January 31, 2011

Doug O’Reilly, Oliver Sohn and their Seventh Art Media team reviewed about 2,500 Facebook page posts by 75 hotel brands and identified six key elements that influence success. The following is a summary of their recently-released white paper, available in its entirety below.

TripAdvisor Announces Their 2011 Traveler's Choice Awards


Earlier today, TripAdvisor posted their Travelers’ Choice Awards for 2011. The review giant identifies its award winners Cedar Brook Lodgeby compiling data from its 20 million traveling members’ reviews.  Which ones have you stayed at?

What Travelers Want in 2011


Online travel company Orbitz has listed some of the must-have and most-searched amenities that it anticipates will continue to drive a consumer’s decision to book a hotel in 2011.

This is based on consumer search behavior on Orbitz.com in 2010.

Planning a trip to Italy? I am this summer and this will help!