As rural communities continue to feel the crippling effects of drought, the state government has launched a $2 million wine marketing campaign aimed to drive international visitation to rural and regional NSW.
Minister for Tourism and Major Events Adam Marshall said the campaign would involved a mix of new and traditional marketing.
“Every extra tourist, interstate or international, we can drag to regional areas for a few nights helps drought-stricken communities get through what is a rough period.
“It will help sustain the local economy but hopefully in the longer term this campaign helps create new jobs and wineries like Topper’s develop a sophisticated seller door with an outward facing environment to encourage tourists to get involved.”
The marketing campaign was announced as part of the government’s NSW Food and Wine Tourism Strategy, created with the help of Wine Industry Association Incorporated (NSWWIA).
Mr Marshall said another goal of the campaign was to see more wine producers’ products on the international markets.
“We are producers of the best quality wines you will find anywhere in the world.
“We want to use the massive asset base and resources we have in our 14 wine regions throughout the state to act as a magnet to lure more of those international tourists across the Great Dividing Range.”
Taking many forms, the campaign will be shared across print media, television and social media to package some of the regions as a whole food and wine experience.
A number of overseas journalists will be flown to regional NSW on familiarisation tours as part of the campaign.
“Social media influencers will also be engaged as social media has become such a driving force influencing people world wide when deciding where to holiday.”
Topper’s Mountain Wines owner Mark Kirkby saw a significant increase in the past three or four years in locals visiting the vineyard.
“But I don’t think we’ve had one international visitor.
“If we can get any of out this campaign, that will be absolutely fantastic. A large portion of international travellers to Australia come to Sydney and the real trick is to get them from the city to regional areas such as Armidale, Glen Innes and Inverell,” he said.
Mark said tourism was a fairly small part of their business, however it was something they were looking at growing.
“We need to find smarter ways to engage people who want a whole experience not just the finished product.”
Topper’s Mountain Wines have been established just outside of peaceful Tingha since 2000.