Boost for wine re­gions

Augusta Margaret River Times - - Times News - Pierra Wil­lix and Sarah Ison

Wine in­dus­try bod­ies say a $50 mil­lion in­dus­try sup­port pack­age will be a mar­ket­ing boon for the re­gion as the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment pushes to at­tract more in­ter­na­tional tourists to wine re­gions na­tion­ally.

The Ex­port and Re­gional Wine Sup­port Pack­age was rolled out this week and is ex­pected to in­crease the value of Aus­tralian wine ex­ports to $3.5 bil­lion by 2022 and help at­tract up to 40,000 more in­ter­na­tional tourists.

Mar­garet River Wines mar­ket­ing di­rec­tor Amanda White­land said the pack­age would ben­e­fit Mar­garet River wine pro­duc­ers with a num­ber of wine tourism and wine ex­port ini­tia­tives.

“We are al­ready see­ing the sig­nif­i­cance of this sup­port with ad­di­tional fund­ing to sup­port our 50th an­niver­sary pro­gram, in­clud­ing a me­dia fa­mil­iari­sa­tion pro­gram which will bring over 10 renowned in­ter­na­tional wine me­dia to join the cel­e­bra­tions dur­ing the Mar­garet River Gourmet Es­cape,” she said.

Ms White­land said China and the US were now Mar­garet River’s top ex­port mar­kets so ini­tia­tives tar­get­ing th­ese coun­tries was vi­tal.

Wine Aus­tralia chief ex­ec­u­tive An­dreas Clark said the pack­age would ben­e­fit the en­tire Aus­tralian wine sec­tor.

Mr Clark said Mar­garet River was a pop­u­lar des­ti­na­tion for over­seas tourists, with 137,707 vis­it­ing the wine re­gion in 2015 — the third­high­est wine tourism vis­i­ta­tion from in­ter­na­tional vis­i­tors be­hind the Yarra and Hunter val­leys.

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