Tour on track af­ter trial

Manjimup-Bridgetown Times - - Manjimup-Bridgetown Times - Ce­cilia Allen

THE South­ern Forests re­gion is poised for more ex­po­sure fol­low­ing a suc­cess­ful trial of the Gen­uinely Ex­tra­or­di­nary South­ern Forests and Farm Ex­pe­ri­ence tour at the week­end.

An­nounced last month, the five­day, four-night tour will kick off next month with book­ings al­ready in place and will visit var­i­ous agri­cul­ture and food tourism busi­nesses be­tween Man­jimup and Pem­ber­ton.

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Tourism WA, the Re­gional Tourism Or­gan­i­sa­tion and var­i­ous me­dia out­lets at­tended a trial run of the tour which was tipped to open up the re­gion to Aus­tralia and the world.

The trial ran across Fri­day and Satur­day and in­cluded be­hindthe-scenes tours of the re­gion’s pack­ing houses and pro­cess­ing fa­cil­i­ties, farms and or­chards and some of the re­gion’s na­ture ex­pe­ri­ences.

High­lights in­cluded a visit to Ad­vance Pack­ing and Mar­ket­ing to see how raw fruit and veg­eta­bles were trans­formed into juices, baby food and smooth­ies and a visit to CharCol Springs to learn about pas­tured eggs.

South­ern Forests Food Coun­cil ex­ec­u­tive chair­man Bevan Eatts said the coun­cil would now take into con­sid­er­a­tion feed­back from pro­duc­ers, busi­nesses and tour guests and adapt the tour as nec­es­sary.

“I think we’ve got a good start­ing point now and we can start to evolve and tai­lor it,” he said.

Mr Eatts said he hoped the tour would ex­pose the Gen­uinely South­ern Forests brand to more peo­ple, in­ter­na­tion­ally and through­out Aus­tralia.

Peos Es­tate co-owner Vic Peos, who show­cased his fam­ily-owned and op­er­ated av­o­cado or­chard, bou­tique vine­yard and win­ery as part of the ex­pe­ri­ence, said the tours had a huge po­ten­tial to at­tract in­vestors to the re­gion.

“It will open up the area to the world,” he said.

“In­vestors will see the op­por­tu­ni­ties and want a piece.

“We love what we do and want to share that with peo­ple.”

Tourism WA fa­mil­iari­sa­tion su­per­vi­sor Jes­sica Pan­ton said the tour was in­no­va­tive.

“We bring in key trade and me­dia in­ter­na­tion­ally and from within Aus­tralia to show­case these types of ex­pe­ri­ences to cre­ate more aware­ness,” she said.

“To have a prod­uct bun­dled to­gether like this is ex­actly what peo­ple are af­ter.”

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