September update from Executive Officer - Rachael Sweeney

September update from Executive Officer - Rachael Sweeney

Wine Victoria has had a busy third quarter, meeting with various stakeholders including government members, staff and industry bodies.

Wine Victoria Chair Damien Sheehan, myself and other members of the Board provided stakeholders with an overview of Wine Victoria's policy priorities, issues currently facing the industry and key opportunities in which we could partner with government.

One of these key areas is Tourism, which is an important economic driver for Victoria. In 2011-12, the direct and indirect contribution of the tourism industry to the Victorian economy was estimated at $19.1 billion and generated over 200,000 jobs; around half of this benefit was generated within regional Victoria.

Distinct wine regions and cellar door experiences were identified as a key part of this economic success. Of Victoria's 800 wineries, 600 have cellar doors, which receive approximately 1.5 million winery visitors per year. Wine-specific tourism in Victoria has an economic value of more than $ 1 billion per annum. Wine based events are seen as a key driver of this activity.

Wineries, especially those in the small-to-medium producers market are particularly reliant on increasing sales through their cellar door.

Increased regional tourism has the ability to improve the wine industry's profit status by generating more cellar door visitation. Sales through cellar doors create a unique opportunity for wineries to have a direct relationship with customers, reducing the reliance on the narrowing retail market.

In this newsletter we will hear from the Minister for Tourism The Hon. Louise Asher and the Shadow Minister for Tourism John Eren on this issue.

Please take the time to read our priorities paper that includes our position on not only tourism but also trade, environment, wine and health, and the cellar door rebate. This document is the result of much consultation with our membership, we have received a positive reception on these issues when presenting our views to various members of parliament from both the Government and Opposition.

Our paper can be found here.here.