Phase two of the Responsible Visitation Campaign (RVC), created by Vinehealth Australia and co-funded by PIRSA, aimed at educating tourists and wine tourism staff about their role in keeping vineyards healthy, is now complete. But what’s been achieved? And what does the future hold for wine tourism biosecurity?

A key focus of RVC2 was continued rollout of the Wine Tourism Biosecurity Training Program. In 2018/19, 120 cellar door, restaurant and marketing staff, tour operators, tourism organisations and accommodation providers were trained in Coonawarra, Barossa, McLaren Vale, Adelaide Hills, Langhorne Creek, Clare and Riverland. In addition, training materials were provided to a total of 527 cellar door and wine tourism staff around SA.

RVC2 also included:

  • Rolling regional visits by Vinehealth Australia CEO Inca Pearce and Campaign Manager Cindie Smart to discuss biosecurity priorities with local councils, regional development groups, wine industry associations and tourism groups. Across 26 individual meetings in regions, discussions covered biosecurity risks and solutions, regional development and biosecurity planning, fencing of vineyards near bike and walking tracks, and communication of ‘healthy vines’ messages with regional visitors.
  • An educational campaign for South Australian bus tour companies, including creation and delivery of a Tour Operator Kit (letter, fact sheet and bumper stickers) posted to 135 operators who run 636 different tours in South Australia.
  • Training of key bus tour operators in South Australia.
  • ‘Healthy vines’ advertising in eight key regional visitor guides and tourism products throughout South Australia.
  • Distribution of RVC materials including videos, images and articles, to regional councils, associations and media.
  • Continuation of the Who’s Hitchhiking With You? publicity campaign, featuring Phil the Phylloxera Guy, including public appearances at two events.
  • An Instagram Influencers Campaign, including an event for 17 key influencers at Tapanappa cellar door.

When wrapping up RVC2, Vinehealth Australia recommended the following activities should be considered by the Australian grape, wine and tourism industries:

  1. Solve the issue in the way the wine industry is promoted with images of people walking in vines. Promotion of the wine industry should not encourage tourists to enter vineyards.
  2. Make the Wine Tourism Biosecurity Training Program a national program for cellar door and tourism staff, to ensure consistency of messages across Australia.
  3. Fund a consumer advertising campaign, using Facebook, Instagram, Youtube pre rolls, cinemas, airports, using the Who’s Hitchhiking With You? Video.
  4. Roll out Wine Tourism Biosecurity Signage nationally. Print signs for every cellar door in Australia.
  5. Create and install large phylloxera prevention signs at regional entrances.
  6. Fund Wine Tourism Biosecurity signage for key bike/walking trials, such as the Riesling Trail.
  7. Allocate a base amount of annual funding to maintain the Wine Tourism Biosecurity training capability in South Australia. Extend the training to more bus tour companies, all Visitor Information Centre staff and staff at key tourist attractions.
  8. Ensure consistent messaging about phylloxera and healthy vines is included on all regional maps, visitor guides and websites.
  9. Conduct a national Instagram Influencer campaign to educate a younger audience about keeping vines healthy.
  10. Fund an ‘impact of phylloxera’ campaign for South Australian grapegrowers, winemakers and industry bodies.
  11. Create an awards program that celebrates producers who are at the cutting edge of sustainable, bio-secure wine tourism practices.

The final Responsible Visitation Campaign Two report will be available on the Vinehealth Australia website soon.