Master’s Thesis Proposal Defense - Becky McRoberts - 10/27/15

Date: October 27, 2015
Time: 3 p.m.
Location: Room 130, Natural Resources Building

Visitors Use of Technology to Plan Winery Tasting Room Trips

Master’s Thesis Proposal Defense

By: Becky McRoberts


Date: Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2015

Time: 3:00 p.m.

Room: 130, Natural Resources Building


Today, rural communities struggle to remain economically viable. Community members have avidly sought new ways to revitalize their local economies and entice young families to relocate to rural areas.  One possible solution is through agriculture tourism development.  Increased tourism in agriculture can promote economic development within communities through local products and services purchased, and increased employment opportunities.  What better way to entice visitors from urban cities to enjoy the rural countryside than through wine tasting tourism?

This proposal seeks to explore how different internet sources are used by visitors to wineries, when they plan their winery tasting room trip.  The objective of this research is to identify online users’ search behavior by use and perception of travel websites and social media sources to plan and visit winery tasting rooms.  An internet based survey will be conducted in the states of Wisconsin and Minnesota and sampling will consist of people who visit one or more of the 22 partnered wineries.  Individual differences and situational factors will be used to categorize the winery visitor profiles.  Perceived importance of online sources will be explained relationally through overall wine visitor satisfaction and likelihood to recommend to others.  Additionally, the results from this research will further construct the existing information regarding search behavior theory in online travel and trip planning. 


Committee Chair: Dr. Dan McCole

Committee Members: Dr. Don Holecek, Dr. Phil Howard