With funding from the Australian Government’s $50m Export and Regional Wine Support Package, the South Australian Government and key stakeholders from local councils and wine associations, the Limestone Coast Grape and Wine Council delivered its ‘Mixed Dozen’ project to build the region’s capabilities and confidence, grow target markets and enable the region to better target, attract and host international wine visitors.
The project commenced with an audit of current wine tourism for the region in November 2018 which identified gaps, challenges and opportunities.
Market research to identify markets in which to target international tourists was undertaken to inform the development of the program’s strategies.
A capability development project, featuring an Informed Experience Development Mentor Program, was delivered to wine tourism businesses. The final audit conducted in 2021 found that implementation of the program had led to the development of 65 wine tourism experiences by local wine tourism businesses. Less than 5 bookable experiences were available pre-project. The audit also reported an increase in wine tourism businesses creating Australian Tourism Data Warehouse (ATDW) listings to increase their online marketing exposure.
A core output of the project was the development of a digital itinerary planning tool to inform, entice and disperse visitors across the region, with the aim of increasing visitor numbers, length of stay, spend and depth of meaningful experience. Using a map-based functionality, travellers can quickly and easily plan their visit according to individual interests, with categories covering ‘Drink’, ‘Eat’, ‘Stay’, ‘See and do’, ‘Events’ and ‘Trails’.
The project’s footprint is centrally located between Melbourne and Adelaide straddling the South Australia and Victorian border. While the focus of the project area is in the Limestone Coast, Victorian partnerships were and will continue to be critical to the project’s success. Seven wine regions are featured on the itinerary planner – including Coonawarra, Mount Benson, Mount Gambier, Padthaway, Robe, Wrattonbully in South Australia and the Western Victorian wine region of Henty, with links to popular Adelaide and Melbourne touring routes, as well as the Grampians Tourism and Great Ocean Road.
More information is available here.