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The Yarra Valley
Transcript of The Yarra Valley
History of the Yarra
The Yarra Valley Food and Wine Festival has a range of potential impacts on the host community which can be both positive and negative in nature.
Marketing and the Target Market
A case study on Food and Wine Tourism in Australia, conducted by Sustainable Tourism CRC, found, in regard to the Yarra Valley, there was a perception that there were too many groups involved in wine tourism in the region, and as a result the region was being marketed in an ad hoc fashion. In response to this, in 2006, a centralised regional peak marketing body was established to integrate the marketing of tourism with wine, food, agribusiness and conferencing.
The Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges Marketing group is working to build the area's position as a food and wine destination, and according to CEO Jennifer Hutchison, the integrated marketing effort is making a substantial contribution to the region's continued growth.
The Future of the Festival
Background picture: www.healesvillegarden.com.au
Use of Special Events
Challenges and Opportunities
Critical Success Factors
Establishment of the Destination
The Yarra Valley Today
The Yarra Valley Food and Wine Festival was established in 2012 in order to promote and develop the Yarra Valley and the people and businesses that call it home.
The festival runs over four days at the end of April and showcases the regions' top wineries, restaurants and food producers.
The Victorian Government/Tourism Victoria;
Participating wineries, restaurants and breweries;
Employees and volunteers;
Special interest groups;
Host community; and
Attendees of the events.
Settlement in the Yarra Valley represents a very significant segment in the history and economic development of Victoria. Major parts of this development began in the 1800s and have carried right through to today.
In 1838 the first Yarra Valley Vineyard was planted
The Yarra Valley became a popular route to the goldfields of Warburton and Woodend
The Yarra River became the main traffic path in the State, being at the centre of the timber industry during the late 1800s
The 1890s saw not only many other vineyards planted but also the Yarra Valley becoming the primary food production region for Melbourne
At the turn of the century the region became serviced by a rail link to the city
In the 1930s the Great Depression struck and the Yarra Valley was not spared. By 1937 every vineyard had been turned into farming land
Dairying and beef production carried on in the region, however the potential for wine growers remained and by the late 1960s replanting began.
New and old vineyards began to pop up again and the Yarra Valley was back to doing what it does best.
By early 1990 the area under vine passed the high point of the 19th century period as well as continuing to be a major area for food production.
The Yarra Valley is today recognised as one of Australia's foremost cool climate wine producing regions as well as a popular gastronomic destination located in beautiful surrounds.
The area not only boasts 80 wineries including 50 cellar doors, but the surrounding farmland also yields freshwater fish, artisan dairy products, organic fruit and vegetables.
The Yarra Valley boasts an array of seasonal produce introduced to the region by generations of immigrant settlers, much of which can now be enjoyed at their farm gates.
The Yarra Valley is also home to cider and beer brewers, farmers, coffee roasters, cheese makers and other artisan producers, accommodation providers as well as a growing restaurant and cafe culture.
Festival attendees are invited to be part of a range of experiences including cooking classes, greenhouse tours, chocolate making, wine tastings and 'behind the bottle' winery tours, degustation dinners and cider sessions, all the while sampling the regions local produce.
Along with the many events and activities previously mentioned, the festival also offers a host of signature events that attendees can take part in. In 2013 these included:
Grand opening degustation dinner at Stones of the Yarra Valley;
Progressive dinner throughout three wineries along the Melba Highway;
Garden Party at Healesville Racecourse;
Chandon Taste Trail;
Sparkling Feast and French Market;
Cider and Ale Tour;
Spit Pig and Cider Lunch; and
The Ultimate of Yarra Valley Tastings - a series of two events.
There are many people or groups that have an interest or concern in how the festival is organised and run. These people are known as stakeholders and each can potentially affect or be affected by the actions, objectives and success of the event. These stakeholders may include:
Sustainability of the Destination
Some of the positive impacts include:
Increased awareness of the region and its offerings;
Raising the profile of Yarra Valley as a gastronomic tourism destination;
Increased revenue for business owners;
Increased employment opportunities;
An increased sense of pride in the community;
Potential increase in Government support to further develop the region as a gastronomic destination
Some of the negative impacts may include:
Strain on, or depletion of, resources;
Increased competition for local business owners;
Lack of suitable infrastructure as visitor numbers increase.
The Yarra Valley and its food and wine festival’s sustainability is, and can be further, achieved through:
Protecting and rehabilitating the natural environment to ensure the area maintains its beautiful surrounds;
Encouraging local industry participation and ensuring local goods and services are used wherever possible to ensure economic benefits remain with the host communities;
Reducing the use of resources such as water and energy; and
Encouraging recycling and the reduction of waste;
According to the Sustainable Tourism Cooperative Research Centre's research into food and wine tourism in Australia, a report has found that the Yarra Valley is a leader in the food and wine tourism sector. However, if the region wishes to maintain and develop this position they must ensure that their practices consider all aspects of sustainability.
The Yarra Valley Food and Wine Festival would have a wide range of targets in mind when it comes to marketing the event. As the festival provides a range of options, the organisers can appeal to a variety of tastes and demographics. Due also to the Yarra Valley's proximity to Melbourne and its airport, and the region's overall popularity, organisers can appeal not only to local residents but also interstate and international markets.
A study conducted by Roy Morgan into visitor segments found that those most likely to visit wineries/vineyards are in the 35-49 age bracket, are socially aware, community oriented and success and career driven. However by including events such as the Healesville Garden Party the festival organisers are also able to capture the interests of other groups such as children and families.
Yarra Valley Marketing
Research by Sustainable Tourism CRC reveals that the Yarra Valley exemplifies many of the offerings visitors are seeking including its scenery, accessibility to Melbourne, attractions and activities, recognition as a premier wine region and extensive food offerings.
With this in mind, there is likely ample opportunity to grow and develop the Yarra Valley Food and Wine Festival and the region further. However in order to achieve this the festival's organisers and participants will need to take advantage of opportunities, and combat any challenges, facing them.
Opportunities to attract visitors may include:
Ambience and natural beauty of the region;
Number of food and wine associations;
Diverse range of products; and
The Yarra Valley's proximity to Melbourne.
The critical success factors for the Yarra Valley Food and Wine Festival include:
Effective marketing strategies;
Attractiveness of the festival;
A wide range of entertainment and activities;
Challenges may include:
Lack of accommodation in peak periods;
Lack of funding;
Not appropriately marketing the destination; and
Food, wine and accommodation providers not working together.
Thank you very much for watching.
Do you think the festival is sustainable? Does it have what it takes to be consistently successful?
Do any of the events mentioned particularly capture your interest? Are there any other events that you think should be included which would improve the festival?
Who do you think the target market most likely is? Are any of these events ones that you would likely attend?
The Target Market
Methods of Promotion
As the festival is relatively new, there are fewer promotional methods in place than would be found when looking at more established events.
As with most other events of today, the Yarra Valley Food and Wine Festival manages a comprehensive website and utilises social media such as Facebook and Twitter. The main promotion for the festival however comes from its festival partners who advertise the events in house and through their own media offerings. These partners include:
The Yarra Valley Regional Food Group;
Wine Yarra Valley;
Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges Marketing;
Yarra Valley Water;
Yarra Ranges Council; and
A range of wineries and restaurants.
Another important sponsor who assists in the festival's promotion is the Victorian Government who contributed $30,000 to the festival. The funding is part of the Coalition Government’s commitment to support regional Victorian events through Tourism Victoria’s Events Program.
“The Yarra Valley is one of Victoria’s premier food and wine destinations and
the festival, held over four days, generates an economic boost to the area,
as well as showcasing the beautiful Yarra Valley to interstate and
international tourists who attend the event”
Ms Asher, Minister for Tourism said.