The Wine & Spirit Education Trust has announced that a record 94,822 candidates from around the globe were studying a WSET course to 31 July 2018, an increase of 11% on 2017.
It’s not just wine – spirits education is booming as well, with both professionals and consumers signing up to learn more. The WSET Level 2 Award in Spirits alone saw candidate numbers increase 55% on 2017.
“It is great to see such high growth in spirits qualifications as we prepare for the launch of the first WSET Level 3 Award in Spirits next year,” said CEO Ian Harris.
In a sign of the strength of the Chinese wine market, China supplied the highest number of WSET candidates, with numbers up by 9% on 2017. Wine education remains important in the UK, with a total of 19,460 candidates, while the US saw growth rocket to 14,204 candidates, an increase of 24%.
Perhaps surprisingly, there were two new entrants to the list of the top 10 markets for WSET courses: Brazil and the United Arab Emirates, with candidate numbers up by 75% and 40% respectively. A statement from the WSET said that the boost for numbers in the UAE was being driven by Dubai’s thriving hospitality scene.
The top 10 markets for the WSET in the academic year 2017/2018 were:
- China (+9%)
- UK (no change)
- USA (+24%)
- Canada (+5%)
- Australia (+18%)
- France (+17%)
- UAE (+40%)
- Switzerland (-1%)
- Brazil (+75%)
- Netherlands (+6%