Picualia is a cooperative oil mill whose main business is producing and selling extra-virgin olive oil. Picualia has over 1000 members, mostly small farmers who make a living off their olive harvest.
Our new mill, commissioned in 2014 and opened in September 2015, is a tangible sign of our commitment to olive-oil tourism. We see olive-oil tourism as a means of diversifying our traditional business model, but also as an educational tool to share the culture of olive oil and teach people about the great qualities of extra-virgin olive oil as compared to other fats.
Our new premises are designed with their tourist function in mind, so as to make our main business of oil production and bottling compatible with the possibility of receiving guests. Guests can sign up for activities such as touring our mill, taking part in our processes, finding out how olive oil is produced, learning about its appeal to a whole range of senses, discovering the health benefits of olive oil as a food, participating in oil tastings, trying tasting menus, buying souvenirs at our stores and enjoying our cuisine at our restaurant. For more than 1000 farmers, tourism is a vital instrument for diversifying production and educating consumers about the healthful properties of extra-virgin olive oil.
Scope of action: What is olive-oil tourism?
Picualia operates in an area known as special-interest tourism or specific tourism. People who are interested in rural tourism, cultural tourism, industrial tourism, food tourism and even creative tourism are likely to be interested in olive-oil tourism, too.
Therefore, olive-oil tourism is a ground-breaking type of activity that appeals to more and more of today’s tourists. The modern tourist is very interested in discovering, experiencing, learning about and participating more closely in the daily life of the local people who live year-round at tourist destinations. For that reason, modern tourists require more options, stronger interactivity and deeper customization of the products they purchase. Picualia operates in the northern countryside of Jaén, Spain.
When creating our tourist products, we identified that we should take part in the territorial development of the province of Jaén, which is considered to be the world’s largest man-made forest, with over 66 million olive trees planted. Picualia’s olive-oil tourist approach fosters other tourist activity sub-sectors, like restaurants, tourism services companies, local guides, travel agencies, hotels, etc. This way, tourists visiting Picualia are at the same time supporting other companies in the province, which has a strong multiplying positive effect on local economy and employment.
Currently, Picualia is an international reference in the field of olive-oil tourism. Our visitors come from all over the world and, more importantly, they create new brand advocates and customers who are loyal to a healthy lifestyle, resulting in a doubly positive effect.
This is particularly visible in Picualia’s approach to olive-oil tourism. Picualia has created:
- A gourmet store and an information area with tasting activities.
- An exhibition and convention area seating 400 people.
- A central courtyard in the mill facilities and spacious gardens that double as a venue for open-air events.
- A dining area for catering and business lunches, as well as various sorts of culinary events.
- A virtual reality room where visitors can experience olive farming and the olive-oil culture in a virtual setting.
Olive-oil tourism and innovation: the case of Picualia
Picualia’s premises are equipped with the latest technology for olive-oil production. Thanks to this technology, the mill is visitor friendly. It welcomes guests interested in learning about the facilities and getting to know the processes involved in producing and bottling extra-virgin olive oil.
Innovation 1. MAKE YOUR OWN OLIVE OIL: Picualia works hard to provide olive-oil tourists with an experience that goes a step beyond regular tourism. During olive harvest time, we offer our visitors the chance to make their own oil on the day of their visit. This experience is not only a guided tour; it also affords people direct contact with harvesting processes, including both traditional methods and the most advanced modern procedures. Our visitors may use an abencor (a miniature olive mill) to press the olives they have collected themselves and produce their own oil.
Innovation 2. PICUALIA VR: Our latest addition to our olive-oil tourism activities is a virtual reality experience, Picualia VR. Only a click away, Picualia visitors can visit olive groves to harvest olives, beat olive trees, ride a tractor, climb to the top of a castle tower to look out over a field of olive trees and even choose products on a virtual shopping trip.
COMPARE OUR PACKAGES AND SELECT THE ONE THAT BEST MATCHES YOUR NEEDS
Picualia’s olive-oil tourism experiences are divided into two major groups.
Tours of our mill and olive grove, and combined tours of our mill and other tourist locations nearby.