Food trail on track for tourism
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.