Vinehealth Australia’s highly successful Responsible Visitation Campaign (RVC) educates tourists and wine tourism staff about their role in keeping vineyards healthy.
Stage Two of the campaign began in September 2018 and will finish in June 2019.
An important part of the RVC is the Wine Tourism Biosecurity Program. This free 90-minute wine tourism-focused biosecurity program for cellar door and tourism staff is focused on keeping SA vineyards free from phylloxera and other pest threats. Participants explore:
- The key biosecurity risks for cellar doors.
- What cellar door and tourism staff can say to tourists about biosecurity.
- The simple biosecurity initiatives cellar doors can implement to reduce the risks.
- The tools Vinehealth Australia can offer to support cellar doors.
To find out more about the Wine Tourism Biosecurity Program contact Vinehealth Australia on (080 8273 0550 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 $2.35 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.
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:
- Research into consumer knowledge and behaviour in relation to vine health. You can read the report here.
- Training: 229 participants from SA wine regions attended a Wine Tourism Biosecurity Training Program session during RVC 1.
- Activations: six best practice test sites were set up and consumer-friendly signage was created for cellar doors.
- 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.
The Responsible Visitation Campaign Stage One 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
- Healthy vines messaging in the Adelaide Hills CRUSH festival program 2019
- Wine Communicators of Australia Enjoy our wines, protect our vines 13 Jan 2019
- Due South Australia Magazine Top tips for the cellar door experience 2019 Edition
- Grapegrower and Winemaker Next steps for vital biosecurity program May 2018
- Grapegrower and Winemaker Who’s hitchhiking with you March 2018
- Farmbiosecurity news Meet Phil, the hitchhiking phylloxera February 2018
- The Shout: Vinehealth Australia launches Responsible Visitation Campaign 5 Feb 2018
- The Real Review: Who’s Hitchhiking With You? 5 Feb 2018
- PIRSA Premium Wine and Food Newsletter Healthy Vines Campaign 2 Feb 2018
- Victor Harbour Times: Vinehealth Australia launches Who’s Hitchhiking with You? campaign to fight off phylloxera 2 Feb 2018
- WBM Online: Vinehealth Australia rolls our wine tourism biosecurity program 31 Jan 2018
- Grapegrower and Winemaker Magazine: Healthy vines campaign announced for tourists Jan 2018
- The Leader: Protecting the biosecurity of Barossa cellar doors Jan 2018
- The Islander: Healthy wines for tourists 17 Jan 2018
- Barossa & Light Herald: Campaign to protect vines 15 Jan 2018
- Northern Argus: Tourists to snap out of it 15 Jan 2018
- The Advertiser: Selfie-ish visitors risking our fine vines 12 Jan 2018