The splendours of Bordeaux are the reputation of the region, especially in the tourism sector. A sector that is heavily impacted, with COVID-19 frozen all tourism activity until yet undetermined. Despite this, the local beauties remain accessible to all the inhabitants, once the containment has been lifted. Places and activities to discover without moderation, far from being reserved only for tourism …
A tourist experience in the heart of the vineyards
Bordeaux and its region are particularly renowned for the quality of their wine. A reputation that resonates around the world, boosts to bottle exports, but not only. Every year, the city attracts many tourists from all over the world to discover the wineries. Tourism is growing, and generating new business, especially in the organization of guided tours of the biggest areas. This phenomenon has a name: wine tourism.
Taking advantage of this interest and attraction for Bordeaux vineyards, wine castles have redesigned their business model and turned to tourism, in addition to their main activity. This is particularly the case for the Maison d’Estournel, inaugurated in September 2019. The Château Cos d’Estournel has thus evolved, inviting tourists and wine lovers to stay on site. The opportunity to dream of a castle life, while enjoying a privileged tasting directly at the winery. In short, a new experience that delights wine lovers as well as neophytes in love with splendid landscapes.
At the same time, Bordeaux has been able to develop its infrastructure to meet the expectations of visitors in search of travel and discovery. The City of Wine is a good example. Built on the banks of the Garonne, on the left bank, this huge museum is a den for all wine lovers. It offers an exhibition around the world, to discover the history of wine and its evolution over time. Fans also take advantage of a bar dedicated to tasting the world’s wines to awaken their taste buds. This awakening is complemented by the tasting of an excellent meal in the altitude restaurant,the 7th. Gastronomic dishes to match with more than 500 wine references available, on the good advice of the Sommelier.
Unusual accommodations for a successful Bordeaux experience
In and around Bordeaux, housing offers are varied. There is the traditional well-located hotel with shuttle buses that allow you to get around quickly and easily everywhere. Visitors often stay on this safe option, from where a driver can pick them up for a visit, especially during vino-tours. But there are also more unusual and original offers for all lovers of themed stays. The castles that convert into guest houses are good examples. Some areas, however, play the card of originality and offer new experiences.
A stone’s throw from Saint-Emilion, in Saint-Jean de Blaignac, Château Bonhoste has created a very unusual accommodation: wine vats. A true symbol of Bordeaux wine and its production, the wine vats are huge and can be furnished. The wood used is of excellent quality, and lends itself totally to this new kind of tourism. A luxury stay, complete with a visit to the estate and a tasting. Another unusual dwelling, the bubble. This is what has been set up in the heart of an estate in Saint Ciers de Abzac, near Saint-Emilion. Travellers can rest in transparent bubbles, all comfort, with a view of the hectares of vineyards. A stay in the heart of the terroir for a total escape.
This new type of tourism shows a change in the expectations of travellers. Especially since the trend seems far from reversing, if we ignore the current period. Once the situation returns to normal, it is likely that the craze will be there again, as it has always been. However, this is a difficult time for winemakers, who also face the vagaries of climate, having a direct impact on the quality of the vines.
The evolution of interests and tourism in Bordeaux
Tourism has been evolving for a few years now, an uplifting observation in Bordeaux. The reasons for choosing a destination, choosing accommodation and length of visit have changed. Visitors are no longer necessarily looking for a time to recharge, they are looking for experience. Wine tourism is one of these developments. Tourists organize themed trips, such as a tour of the region’s wineries. They want to discover, and learn things.
The choice of housing is also changing. The practicality is privileged to stay in a particular area without being motorized. Travellers are more likely to turn to a hotel located in the city centre, or close to public transport. For a more economical solution, private rentals via platforms like Airbnb are very successful. They make it possible to choose a dwelling in a particular geographical area, and make the stay more flexible. But this type of rental is increasingly regulated, especially in densely populated and touristy cities.
Finally, tourists are looking for an experience. They will spend more willingly to stay one night in a treehouse in the heart of the vineyards, a new stay. These more unique stays allow us to reconcile adventure and discovery, so dear to the hearts of travellers. An experience potentially accessible to all locals who want to break the routine of confined life…
Press release – The House of Estournel – July 2019
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