Wine Australia grant set to take Hunter Valley tourism to the world

THE Hunter Valley Wine and Tourism Association (HVWTA) will take the stories behind the wine and tourism experiences of the Hunter Valley to the world through incredible lifelike digital campaign.

It’s all thanks to its successful bid for a share in the $7.4million International Wine Tourism funding pool, which includes $2.8 million from the International Wine Tourism Competitive Grants Program.

HVWTA has been allocated $50,000 in matched funding for its $100,000 project which will target potential Chinese visitors through a significant marketing campaign aimed at increasing visitation and spend in the Hunter Valley by using innovative augmented reality technology.

The grant is a component of the federal $50 million Export and Regional Wine Support Package that aims to grow the Australian wine sector and attract more international tourists to our wine regions.

The association will work with an agency partner to develop and implement a significant marketing campaign using the latest digital technology to highlight the best of Hunter Valley wine country and the tourism diversity of the surrounding local government areas.

HVWTA general manager Jo Thomas said the campaign would make a valuable contribution towards increasing overnight visitation to the Hunter Valley and would also boost the local economy.

“The Hunter Valley Wine sector contributes $502million to the Hunter Valley economy and supports 2800 jobs,” she said.

“It is imperative to the growth of the wine and tourism industry that we continue to implement marketing campaigns to encourage visitors to our region.

“This campaign will include cutting-edge augmented technology on a website that brings the unique experiences of the Hunter to life via a first-person experience – for example, standing through a cellar door being guided through a tasting or stepping into a hot air balloon while the pilot greets you.”

Wine Australia chief executive officer Andreas Clark said the HVWTA was one of 21 successful wine tourism projects which would diversify Australia’s wine tourism offering and create a lasting impression of Australian wine.

“It is important for the growth and success of our wine regions that we deepen engagement with international tourists and these successful projects will help attract more visitors to experience Australia’s wine offering,” he said.

Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Anne Ruston agreed maintaining Australia’s reputation as a “sensational” international wine region and keeping the attention of international markets needed to be maintained by thinking that was “outside the box”.

“The best way we can convince the world of our quality wine and make them ambassadors forever is to immerse them in an unforgettable experience in our regions,” she said.