The WA wine industry was disappointed to be informed of the abolishment of the long standing state based Cellar Door Rebate through the release of the 2015-16 state budget yesterday.
With no prior consultation, the industry was not able to provide the state government with information on the value of the rebate to wine regions in the state’s south west. The rebate provided regionally based WA producers with an incentive to resource cellar door and wine tourism offerings. These businesses are significant tourism attractions, driving visitation to south west wine regions. They are also significant employers within these regions and create an environment where synergistic businesses thrive, providing a further employment multiplying effect.
It is difficult to understand why a scheme that was an incentive to food and wine tourism businesses would be abolished when the state government is also purporting to support the transition from a “mining boom to a dining boom”.
Wines of WA President, Redmond Sweeny suggested that a better approach would have been to “consult with our industry to gain a deeper understanding of how the subsidy is re-invested back into the region through the operation of significant wine tourism businesses. Businesses re-invest to create unique regional experiences that attract visitation by domestic and international travellers who are seeking a premium experience.”
WoWA is buoyed by the positive approach to resourcing tourism market development in the budget via an additional $24m for new destination marketing. WoWA also welcomes the increase in funding to attract more visitors to the state with the Tourism WA marketing budget increase to $31.2 million.
WoWA also backs the $27 million investment over three years to support the State Government’s events program and to target interstate and international conferences, and $11 million of Royalties for Regions funding to extend the Regional Tourism Marketing Program. This will have a positive effect on wine tourism businesses