Responsible Visitation Campaign

Vinehealth Australia’s highly successful Responsible Visitation Campaign (RVC) educates tourists and wine tourism staff about their role in keeping vineyards healthy.

Stage One of the Responsible Visitation Campaign ran from September 2017 to April 2018. You can read the final report here.

Stage Two of the campaign will run from September 2018 to April 2019.

Background

Tourist movement between countries, states, wine regions and vineyards creates opportunities for the spread of pests, diseases and weeds on tyres, clothing and shoes. South Australia is phylloxera free, fruit fly free, and GM free. These credentials give South Australia a huge boost on the highly competitive world stage.

The South Australian wine industry, worth $2.11 billion to the state’s economy, is passionate about the protection of its vines. The Phylloxera Act 1899, established the Phylloxera and Grape Industry Board of South Australia, a statutory authority dedicated to the protection of vineyards from phylloxera infestation. The Phylloxera Board – now Vinehealth Australia – has provided 119 years of continuous service. This long dedication to biosecurity by South Australian grapegrowers and industry leaders is a shining light of industry collaboration.

But keeping South Australian vineyards free from phylloxera and other threats has never been more challenging. Biosecurity risks are intensifying. There are more opportunities than ever before for pests and diseases to reach Australia and establish in our vineyards.

Factors driving this change include increased global trade and tourism1. South Australia’s expanding reputation as Australia’s food and wine capital is drawing people to the state from all around the world.

Information from the South Australian Tourism Commission2 shows that for the year ending December 2016:

  • International visits to SA have grew by 8%.
  • SA attracted 2 million domestic overnight visitors up by 6.1% – this growth rate is 2% above the national average.
  • Visitors from Melbourne reached a record high of 746,000 in 2016, up 35 percent on the previous year. Note: Victoria contains Phylloxera Infested Zones (PIZ).
  • South Australians made 3.9 million intrastate

Over the past decade, the number of aircraft passengers into Australia has increased by 80%. Cruise ship numbers visiting Adelaide are also increasing. In 2016, there was a 300% increase in Chinese bookings for wine tours in Australia.

Added to this, the Australian Government’s $50 million Export and Regional Wine Support Package aims to showcase the nation’s wine tourism offering and draw more tourists to our wine regions. Currently, there isn’t a plan to manage the associated risk to the health of our vines.

The Campaign

With these upward trends set to continue, a campaign was developed to promote responsible visitation to South Australian wine regions. This campaign is particularly important for tourists coming from or via the Yarra Valley (containing the Maroondah PIZ) and other phylloxera infested regions in Australia and overseas, who could be responsible for spreading phylloxera into South Australia.

The Responsible Visitation Campaign was segmented into four main stages:

  1. Research into consumer knowledge and behaviour in relation to vine health. You can read the report here.
  2. Training: 229 participants from SA wine regions attended a Wine Tourism Biosecurity Training Program session.
  3. Activations: six best practice test sites were set up and consumer-friendly signage was created for cellar doors.
  4. Awareness: The ‘Who’s Hitchhiking With You?‘ campaign was rolled out with videos, images, articles, flyers, advertising, social media and

For detailed information about the activities, read the final report.

Results

The Responsible Visitation Campaign achieved its goal of educating tourists and wine tourism staff about their role in keeping vineyards healthy. Specifically, the Responsible Visitation Campaign:

  • Identified a gap in industry knowledge among tourism/sales/marketing staff in biosecurity and vine health areas.
  • Identified issues in the way the wine industry is promoted, i.e., with images of tourists in vineyards.
  • Facilitated the development of a Wine Tourism Biosecurity Training Program for the wine industry that has national importance.
  • Facilitated the development of tourist-friendly language that demonstrates Australia’s commitment to biosecurity, which can be used to enhance the cellar door and vineyard experience, rather than detract from it.
  • Delivered increased biosecurity awareness and capability among wine tourism operators.
  • Created a blueprint for biosecurity awareness that can become a framework for national best practice.
  • Facilitated the development of a range of tourism-friendly collateral for ongoing use by the wine industry, including signage, flyers, adverts, videos, images and written content.
  • Promoted active discussion of the experiences wineries offer their tourists and the potential impacts on vine health.

The Responsible Visitation Campaign is jointly funded by Vinehealth Australia and Primary Industries and Regions South Australia, with additional support from the South Australian Wine Industry Association and the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia.

For further information about the Responsible Visitation Campaign, contact campaign manager Cindie Smart on 0418 826 480 or email
cindie@cindiesmart.com.au

Footnotes:

1 www.agriculture.gov.au/biosecurity/partnerships/nbc/intergovernmental-agreement-on-biosecurity/igabreview/igab-final-report

2 http://www.tourism.sa.gov.au/sa-tourism-reports.aspx

Responsible Visitation Campaign Launch: Angove Family Winemakers McLaren Vale