Regional Wine Tourism: A Plan of Development for Western Australia
Tej Vir Singh, Centre for Tourism Research and Development
Business and Public Management
Marketing, Tourism and Leisure
Wine tourism is attracting considerable attention in Australia and a number of states have embarked on vigorous wine tourism development programs to bolster the perceived economic benefits of tourism (Hall, Johnson & Mitchell 2000). This paper simply describes the process by which a wine tourism strategy was prepared for state of Western Australia (WA). The strategy is one of the first to be prepared and it is hoped that it can be used as an exemplar for others which will no doubt follow. The strategy was prepared in 1999, refined in 2000 and will be released in 2001. Wine and tourism are two Australian success stories (Macionis and Cambourne 2000) and the WA wine tourism strategy charts an exciting future for the development of a synthesis of these two great industries. The outstanding ‘value added’ element of the wine tourism industry fosters job creation, stimulates local businesses, especially in regional areas, and enhances both wine exports and international tourism. The broad ranging industry encompassing a range of industries demands a whole of government approach to its future growth. Such synergy provides an exceptional opportunity for the wine and tourism industries to capitalise on the State’s existing wine tourism products as well as the growing demand for wine tourism. The WA strategy was developed in accord with the Australian National Wine Tourism Strategy and as such it covered a range of issues. These include raising the awareness and understanding of the value added benefit of tourism to the wine industry; establishing an industry standard for wine tourism outlets and facilities; increasing the skill level of employees in the wine tourism industry; understanding links between wine, food and the Australian lifestyle; and identifying the impediments to the development of wine tourism in Western Australia. This paper provides an overview of the background, process and outcomes of the draft strategy.