In collaboration with the Lausanne-based startup Smeetz, the Office des Vins Vaudois (OVV) has organised their traditional “Caves Ouvertes” of six months through an online platform where tourists and wine lovers can book wine tastings with the winemakers of their choice.
It's a welcome digital solution to save a local tradition. Gathering tens of thousands of people over a single weekend seemed hardly conceivable in view of the COVID-19 situation. Although the pandemic represents a number of challenges for the events and tourism sector, it has also accelerated the digitalization of many players.
The end of the harvest marked the beginning of the "Caves Ouvertes à la Cave" which will last until the end of March 2021. Since the beginning of October, tourists and wine lovers can buy a pass on the online platform for 30CHF and use it until the end of March 2021 for the winemakers with whom they have booked a tasting. In addition to a Vaud à la Carte card issued by the Tourist Office, they will receive an "aperitif kit" consisting of a tasting glass and a branded drop stop.
A Lausanne start-up to support Swiss wine tourism
Alexandre Martin, CEO of Smeetz and grandson of a winegrower, is convinced of the important role that wine tourism plays in the future of Swiss tourism. With his team of 14 people based in Lausanne, he intends to help these tourism players enter the digital world in order to face current constraints and future new challenges.
Founded in 2017, this Vaud-based start-up offers tourism and cultural players a ticketing, marketing and dynamic pricing solution to develop their offers, increase online sales and build customer loyalty. Smeetz has lately gained many notorious clients, including the famous Chateau de Chillon TM (the most visited castle in Switzerland).
Smeetz became particularly well-known with the launch of the Swiss Night Pass in May 2020. Downloaded more than 100,000 times and used in more than 80 establishments, the Swiss Night Pass is a digital pass that facilitates and automates the obligatory creation (due to COVID-19) of attendance lists at the entrance to nightclubs and events.
Similar identification solutions have been proposed by Smeetz at other major events, including the International Festival du Film Alpin des Diablerets (FIFAD) and Jardin des Vins de Sion.
A digitalization opportunity for wine tourism
In Switzerland, the wine tourism offer has been developing considerably for several years now. In order to further develop this offer, it is necessary to digitalise access to wine tourism products. This digitalization, which is necessary for the success of Swiss wine tourism, has been greatly accelerated by the challenges posed by the pandemic.
These digital offerings are able to reach a wider audience (in Switzerland and abroad), comprising of the new generations as well as senior citizens. According to a study commissioned by Pro Senectute in 2020, 75% of people over 65 are active on the internet.