Upon returning from the field trip, students will need to write a reflection of your visit. This will include your thoughts on the experiences you underwent during the
trip and your impressions of both the wine and the tourism industry in the region related to subject theory.
As a minimum the following topics will need to be covered:
- Your thoughts and observations on the wine tourism experience at each winery. How does it relate to theory we have been discussing in class? What did you personally notice andfeel during your time there?
- What does the Hunter Valley offer besides cellar door visits?
From secondary research:
- Identify and outline one new potential market the region should be catering for and support this with solid research and reasoning.
- Discussion of the development of the Hunter Valley as a wine tourism destination – the opportunities available, potential threats,competition from other regions.
- The sustainability of the wine tourism industry in the region – what is being done to protect the physical/socio-cultural and economic environments in the area?
- Your thoughts on your experiences at Winery 1
2. Your thoughts on your experiences at Winery 2
3. Discussion of relevant theory from lecture slides/readings
4. Quality of observations overall: insight and thought processes
Development and sustainability of the Hunter Valley:
1. Development of the region as a tourist destination: opportunities, threats, competition
2. Sustainability of the wine region (physical, socio-cultural, economic) Diversification and identification of new target markets:
3. Outline of activities offered beyond the cellar door
4. Identification of a potential new market for the region
The Growing Trend of Exotic Tourism
The growing trend of exotic tourism has opened newer avenues of tourism and travel industry. The advents of vintage tourism revolving around wineries and vineyards have been a growing trend since the late twentieth century. The vineyards offer holistic tourism and create opportunities for promotion and marketing of the products with a live experience in wine making. The Australian wine tourism is greatly concentrated in the southern part of Australia and the Hunter Valley being one of the oldest wine producing regions in Australia. The hunter valley has extensive vineyards and adds to the vinitourism in the region.
The Hunter valley is an approximately three and a half hours drive from Sydney and has long roots of viticulture. For a study tour, we visited the vineyards of McGuigan and Tamburlaine in the valley on 19th of October, 2018. Both the Wineries are vintage wineries and have been recorded in producing fine quality wines. The visit to Tamburlaine winery will be reflected in the report and an evaluation of the potentiality to promote vinitourism will be approached. The Tamburlaine Winery was established in 1966 by Dr. Lance Allen and was later bought by Mark Davidson and a group of his friends. The specialty of Timberlaine winery is the production of organic wine with contemporary processes of manufacturing.
A firsthand experience of a vineyard gives an exotic feeling to any individual and is a once in a life time experience. The Hunter Valley houses several vineyards who have been involved in producing exotic vintage wines from the late twenties. The Hunter valley with its proximity to Sydney allows easy access for tourists and travelers interested in wine destinations. The Hunter valley is noted for its sophisticated and unique strains of Semillon. The visit was really interesting and we started with the formal interaction with of the managers, visit to the vineyards and finally getting a tour at the processing unit and the cellar. The cellar visits were really intriguing and created enormous excitement among us. Apart from the Winery, we also visited the home stays and wedding venues that Tamburlaine Organic Wines provide in their property. The locations were extremely picturesque, and I had a soothing experience visiting them. These added attractions I feel, add to the value of the Tamburlaine brand and enhances tourism opportunities in the Hunter valley (TAMBURLAINE ORGANIC WINES. 2018). The Hunter valley has planned their tourism potential in a very organized manner. There are several options for an individual willing to visit the valley to choose from. The tourists can have pre booking facilities and interested individuals can book a Tasting in the property. With the growing advent of destination wedding, these properties provide excellent opportunities for wedding venues. These are added facilities provided by the Hunter Valley in order to attract tourists and facilitate Vinitourism or commonly called wine tourism (Australia.com. 2018).
The Hunter Valley and Tamburlaine Winery
An analysis of the tourism potential will be attempted with the help of the factors that determine the potential of the tourism of any location. The Hunter valley has taken adequate care in order to cater facilities that would attract tourists to visit the valley. The field trip that we did in the plantation give an in depth experience in vine plantation, fruiting and harvesting, and the simultaneous processes that go on to make a vintage wine. Wine being an exotic commodity drives interest among tourists in their manufacturing processes. The live action of the wine processing gave me utter thrill. This live experience provides the tourists an idea about the effort that goes behind the crafting of the vintage wines. Tourists in certain wineries are allowed to take part in the harvest festivals which allow them to get an experience in the processes. The vineyards with their picturesque locations are aesthetically marvelous providing ultimate gratification to visitors.
According to Roberts and Sparks, the priority of choosing a destination is dependent on eight factors that enhance or diminish the chances of selection by tourists. These include the
- Authenticity of experience
- Settings and surroundings of the location
- Product Offered by the Wineries
- Value of money should be justified
- Service interactions with the visitors
- Dissemination of Information
- Personal Growth and finally,
- Indulgence or lifestyle preferences.
The Hunter Valley has potential to provide authentic experiences to its visitors. The Hunter Valley regions being the oldest vineyards in Australia have legacy and vintage added to its value and can provide experiences that are exclusively authentic and unique. Given the services they provide are extremely authentic and as mentioned earlier, is a once in a life time experience (Roberts, & Sparks, 2006).
The settings and the surroundings are picturesque being located in close proximity with Sydney. The valley has been source of pollution free environment along with rivers and valleys that stretch the region. This provides a holistic environment, and attracts enough tourists in the valley (Australia.com. 2018).
The Hunter valley has a wide range of product that is available at the location. The Tamburlaine winery offers Organic, low sulfur wines which is a growing demand. Apart from Red and White wines, different categories of wines like rose wine and sparkling wines are also available. There is a wide range of products that the Hunter valley offers (Australia.com. 2018).
Value for money is also justified in the winery. The choice to choose from the Cellars allows for greater satisfaction. The ready availability of almost all products at the similar range of prices, provides value for money. The opportunity to choose after wine tasting session also gratifies the value for money.
Factors That Determine Tourism Potential
Service interaction has also been good and informative during the visit. The staffs were really helpful and supportive during the field trip. The interaction was informative and greatly interesting. They answered our queries with patience and made us feel comfortable during the trip. It was a friendly experience altogether.
There are adequate facilities to provide necessary information and guidance for visitors. Several visitor centres and facilitation counters are present throughout the valley in order to provide tour guidance and information. This is an important requirement for any tourist destination to flourish (Winecountry.com.au. 2018).
Regarding personal growth and lifestyle offerings, the Hunter valley promotions by captioning “towards a good life” and offers personal growth as well by allowing exposure to individuals in the wine processing and the wine industry.
Hunter valley offers wedding destination plans for couples who are interested in making their weddings exquisite. Apart from wedding planning, the Hunter Valley also offers ‘Accommodations’ for planned vacations. There a list of resorts all over the Hunter valley that over luxury accommodations and are maintained by respective wineries. Tourists can book for planned vacations. The Hunter valley also organizes concerts and festivals which include the famous performers from around the globe. The Hunter Valley Wine and Food festival is also a major attraction for connoisseurs. The weddings planner provides various options ranging from garden weddings to resort weddings to church weddings (Hunter Valley Wedding Venue, Peppers Creek, Roche Estate. 2018). This allows a lot of promotion for the Hunter Valley wineries to promote their wines and properties (Winecountry.com.au. 2018).
These factors altogether cumulate to make Hunter valley a good option for tourists and connoisseurs. Though the popularity all together might hamper the ecological balance, keeping that in check, the valley is absolutely an excellent option for an tourists and travelers (Australia.com. 2018).
The potential market growth for the Australian Wine is seen in the various economies with the increase in popularity and quality standards of the Australian Wine. The reports from Wine Australia, USA and China are the potential markets for the Australian Wine. The growing demand of Australian Wine in these markets show potential in the future for premium Australian Wines. The Australian Wine market has seen a growth by 4% with an amount of 443 Million Australian Dollars in the market. A recent promotional road show in June saw participation of at least 1000 members from the North American Wine Trade to get a better understanding about the Australia’ wineries. This proves the growing interest of the Australian Wine in the US market. Reports from Wine Australia reveal that the value of the Australian Wine exports to the US have increased over A$10 per litre and are the highest since 2012, increasing by over 58 %. The report also reveals that the increased demand has been seen by millenials and is a potential market grower for the future (Wineaustralia.com. 2018). Wine exports have grown by 15 % in value amounting to 2.56 billion US dollars and production volume grew to 811 million litres. The market seems to give a positive growth over the next few years (Anderson, & Aryal, 2015).
Attractions and Facilities for Tourists in Hunter Valley
Looking at the above figures it can be clearly noted that with growth in the exports and the growing popularity of Australian Wines in the international market, the wineries and the vineyards can promote their growth in wine tourism by promoting their wines and properties. The promotion of the product along with the tourism will boost the tourism sector of the Australia as well. The rising demand and popularity will encourage people to travel to these destinations and have an experiential tour of the products they use (Wineaustralia.com. 2018).
The opportunities that are intermittent for Hunter valley include several issues that need to be taken care of. The increase in popularity globally will attract customers and tourists from various parts of the world. This will grow the business by added popularity after the visit to the winery. The seasons when active work or harvests are not being conducted can be utilised as the Hunter valley organizes several fests and concerts along with festivals happening round the year (Carlsen, & Boksberger, 2015). The opportunities seem bright for the valley in the coming days and can be summarized as follows:
- Increased tourist inflow
- Increased production due to rising demand
- Expansion opportunities overseas due to the increased popularity
- Over all development of the region to cater to the demands.
With the growing opportunities threats are obvious to be evident. The growing popularity and inflow of tourists all round the year might hamper the ecological balance affecting the quality of the vineyards. Being very sensitive to external factors, grapes and vines can degrade their productivity. The wine industry lies in the base of quality and excessive human interference can hamper that. The other posing threat lies in the pressure of production which can also affect productivity. The competition is largely stiff due to the number of wine producing regions in Australia. Hunter Valley being the oldest has the upper edge for the vintage quality, yet the in terms of production and categories of Wine, people might opt other locations as Yarra valley and the Barossa valley which have equally competent Wines and attractive enhancement factors.
Sustainability has been strongly promoted to maintain the best standards in the industry. Tamburlaine Organic Winery has been leading the forefront with sustainability workshops and environment friendly methods of production. The regulatory authority for sustainable wine production in Australia is being looked after by Entwine Australia. Entwine looks after the sustainable wine production and organizes certification programs based on ISO 14000 standards and Freshcare Environmental viticulture/ Winery. The sustainable programs and practice methods have been brought under the auspice of Entwine Australia that regulates the sustainable management techniques and practices for Wineries and wine producers across Australia (The Australian Wine Research Institute. 2018).
The Potential Market Growth for Australian Wines
The growing wine industry in Australia needs to keep a check in the production quality to maintain its competiveness in the international market. Observing the wine scenario and the growing vinitourism, it has to be noted that the threat from overcrowding and excessive tourist pressure, should be addressed before hand. The few recommendations that can be made include.
- Segregating tourist seasons and harvest seasons and limiting the number of tourists while during harvest.
- To maintain the exotic feel of the Hunter valley, more contemporary and organic cultures must be initiated and encouraged. This will also provide competitive edge over other wine valleys in Australia.
- Short educational workshops can be organized in the plantations to raise interest and provide firsthand knowledge about the wine making processes.
- Promote eco tourism to encourage sustainability in the industry and ensure habitat conservation of the vines.
The wine industry in Australia is a booming industry with the growing demand across the world. The wine tourism is a supplementary to the winery and fetches a good amount of revenue during non productive seasons. The growing trend of the wine tourism has been promoted by lifestyle companies and travel operators owing to their distinct nature of tourism. The Hunter valley being one the oldest among the winery fraternities in Australia has extreme potential to grow over the years adding to the revenue generated out the industry. It is high time that these potential areas of development be promoted sustainably to create opportunities for employment and societal development along with awareness for environment.
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