Key success factors of managing a wine festival
Wine tourism is very much an "experience", be it the wine, the destination or the opportunity to learn and "grow".Competitive positioning of wine tourism regions has become a strategically important issue, as the number of wine festivals has increased considerably and numerous regions are now marketing aggressively to attract high-yield wine tourists. The Wacky Wine Festival is one of the most unique and popular wine festivals in South Africa, and is the biggest regional wine festival. Managers of the Wacky Wine Festival need to know what visitors see as the important key success factors needed for managing a wine festival. This encourages competiveness and attempts to be sustainable over the long term of the wine festival's product lifecycle. When managing a wine festival, managers also need to identify whether different visitor groups have different perceptions of the managerial aspects. Key success factors (KSFs) are a prerequisite for the success of any organisation. KSFs concern what every manager within the tourism industry must be competent at doing or must concentrate on achieving to be Competitively and financially successful. KSFs are aspects which influence the organisation's ability to thrive in the market place. It is important to identify key success factors as these will assist a business in measuring achievements and indicating the improvement a business is making towards achieving certain targets. The main purpose of this study was therefore to determine key success factors for managing a wine festival by identifying what visitors to the Wacky Wine Festival view as important managerial aspects (KSFs). To reach the above-mentioned goal, the study is divided into 2 articles. Research for both articles was undertaken at the Wacky Wine Festival. Questionnaires were interview-administrated and distributed randomly during the course of the Festival at different wine farms. In total 424 questionnaires werecompleted during the visitor survey from 3-7 June 2009. Article 1 is titled: "Aspects concerning effective and efficient management of the Wacky Wine Festival". The main purpose of this article was therefore to identify the key success factors in managing the Wacky Wine Festival. This was done to determine what people visiting the Wacky Wine Festival view important. A factor analysis was used as instrument for achieving the above-mentioned goal. Results indicated that quality and good management, wine farm attributes, effective marketing, route development, festival attractiveness, entertainment and activities and accessibility are the key success factors that are important when managing a wine festival. These results generated strategic insights on what managers need to focus on when they are organising and managing a wine festival, such as the Wacky Wine Festival. Article 2 is titled: "A management appraisal of the Wacky Wine Festival". The main purpose of this article was to identify why a management appraisal is important when managing a wine festival. An analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to determine whether significant differences occurred between the different visitor groups of the wine festival and their perceptions regarding the managerial aspects. Results revealed that there are three different visitor groups, namely the festinos, the epicureans and the social adventurers that visit the Wacky Wine Festival. Each of them agreed or disagreed what managerial aspects they find are very important when managing the Wacky Wine Festival. Some of the factors were found significant, namely quality and good management, effective marketing and entertainment and activities. Hence managers of the wine festival need to regard these key success factors as important to focus on. This research therefore revealed the key success factors for efficient management of the festival. There are further three types of visitor groups that visit the Wacky Wine Festival were also identified, namely the festinos, the epicureans and the social adventures. Research also indicated that specific markets have different evaluations concerning the importance of management aspects in ensuring success.