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 ran from September 2018 to June 2019. You can read the final report here.

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 training@vinehealth.com.au.

RVC 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 $2.35 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.

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: 349 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 events.

Recommendations

Following Round Two of the Responsible Visitation Campaign, Vinehealth Australia recommends 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 and supply signs to 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 paths, 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.
  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 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.

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Footnotes:

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

Responsible Visitation Campaign Launch
Angove Family Winemakers McLaren Vale
2 February 2018