Food trail on track for tourism

Manjimup-Bridgetown Times - - Front Page - Karen Hunt

A NEW food trail be­ing de­vel­oped in Man­jimup is part of a strat­egy to dou­ble the value of WA tourism to $12 bil­lion.

The Man­jimup trail would join 11 oth­ers in­clud­ing the first trail launched in April in Bridgetown, Tourism WA mar­ket­ing con­sul­tant John Stan­ley said.

A blue­print for the trail net­work was set out in Tourism WA’s 2015 doc­u­ment Taste 2020 in line with a broader goal of dou­bling the value of WA tourism from $6 bil­lion in 2010 and a work­shop will be held soon for busi­nesses keen to get in­volved.

“There are two ma­jor ob­jec­tives; one is to direct tourists in the area to lo­cal food,” Mr Stan­ley said.

“The other one is to pro­mote lo­cal food in Western Aus­tralia as a mar­ket­ing op­por­tu­nity.”

Truffle and Wine Co gen­eral man­ager Michael Lowe said the busi­ness was part of the trail and con­sid­ered it a “sen­sa­tional op- por­tu­nity” to pro­mote the re­gion and its pro­duce. “We be­lieve there is a dis­con­nect be­tween peo­ple and their food as a lot of peo­ple live in the city and don’t think about where their food comes from,” he said.

“From an agri-busi­ness per­spec­tive, if you can build a de­mand by bring­ing peo­ple to the coun­try rather than mar­ket­ing over­seas, it opens up new doors.”

Tourism Aus­tralia re­search has found the South West to be the na­tion’s top des­ti­na­tion for food tourism, which is a growth in­dus­try world­wide, he said.

The rea­son for that was the global Margaret River brand, a ma­jor draw for food tourists.

“We can all ben­e­fit from that in the re­gion. From a tourist point of view, we are the re­gion. It’s only lo­cals that think Margaret River is a dif­fer­ent as­pect.”

Mr Stan­ley is the au­thor of Food Tourism: A Prac­ti­cal Guide to Mar­ket­ing and has decades of ex­pe­ri­ence in the field.

He also runs Ch­est­nut Brae near Nan­nup and is part of the Taste Black­wood group pro­mot­ing the food trail in the ‘golden tri­an­gle’ be­tween Nan­nup, Bridgetown and Balin­gup.

An­other driv­ing force be­hind Taste Black­wood is John Lucey from The Cidery in Bridgetown, who says sup­pli­ers have a mar­ket ad­van­tage in work­ing to­gether.

“Ev­ery­body who’s in­volved, and there are seven of us in­volved, said to us, ‘Gee you’ve got great prod­uct, what else is down there?’,” he said.

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