Wineries' push for more Chinese tourists to benefit from funding

TOURISM DRIVE: Orange Region Vignerons' Association president and senior winemaker at Cumulus Wines, Debbie Lauritz. Photo: JUDE KEOGH 1107jkorva1
TOURISM DRIVE: Orange Region Vignerons' Association president and senior winemaker at Cumulus Wines, Debbie Lauritz. Photo: JUDE KEOGH 1107jkorva1

Orange region wineries are set to benefit from a $2 million international marketing campaign.

The federal and state government money will be used to fund research into how to match demands from overseas tourists with the resources the state’s wine regions has to offer.

Tom Ward, the NSW Wine Industry Association president and owner of Swinging Bridge Wines, said it should lead to Orange receiving more tourists and more media and public relations familiarisation visits.

“As a region we will find out what is more appropriate to us,” he said.

Mr Ward said the research would look into new wine tourism products, assess the accommodation potential of each region and even look at developing wine tourism campaigns with airlines.

The NSWWIA and Destination NSW marketing campaign is seeking to increase international tourists’ overnight stays in NSW wine regions by 12,000 nights both next year and in 2020.

BONFIRE NIGHT: Ellen Sainty, Jordyn Casey, Cassidy Batiste enjoyed the Winter Fire Festival. Photo: CARLA FREEDMAN 0804cfdesalis3

BONFIRE NIGHT: Ellen Sainty, Jordyn Casey, Cassidy Batiste enjoyed the Winter Fire Festival. Photo: CARLA FREEDMAN 0804cfdesalis3

Orange Region Vignerons’ Association president Debbie Lauritz, the senior winemaker at Cumulus Wines, said it was hoped to increase overnight stays around Orange by 4000 nights over the next two years.

She said the region was working together to identify overseas tourist markets and export opportunities. 

“We very much identified the Chinese market,” she said.

Initial steps had included  bringing a group of Chinese media and social media people to the inaugural Winter Fire Festival across Orange in August.

The key message is where we are and what we do.

Debbie Lauritz, ORVA

“Behind that is the training for people who work at cellar doors. What Chinese people want and need,” she said.

She said a delegation of people from Orange region wineries headed to China earlier this year.

“The key message is where we are and what we do. Orange is a bit lost on the world stage,” she said.

Miss Lauritz said the Chinese market enjoyed the wines being produced in Orange’s cool climate.

“[They’re] a little bit lighter with bright fruit and flavours,” she said.

She said the biggest issue facing winegrowers in the region was the drought.

“It’s been quite a dry year. People will be anxious about the water and rainfall. Crop loads will be moderate. Rainfall, it’s at the mercy of the gods,” she said.

Agriculture minister David Littleproud said NSW was primarily seeking Chinese and American wine tourists.