- About 400,000 people visit WA each year to sample its food and wine
- State Government launches strategy to grow culinary tourism
- Margaret River Gourmet Escape to become world-leading food festival
A strategy aimed at making Western Australia one of the world's foremost culinary tourism destinations has been launched today by Premier Colin Barnett.
Mr Barnett said Taste 2020 - A Strategy for Food and Wine Tourism would see the State Government working with seafood, agriculture, beverage and tourism industries to grow WA's reputation as a world-renowned food and wine destination of choice.
"Food and wine is a key factor in holiday decision making, second only to the State's world-class natural beauty and WA is well placed to take advantage of the trend towards food and wine tourism," he said.
"Not only can we boast some of the world's most spectacular natural landscapes but also offer some of the world's finest wines and fresh, premium food and produce."
The Premier said the strategy included initiatives to improve the overall quality of service, develop and promote food and wine trails, expand Aboriginal cultural experiences, and cultivate the potential of other food and wine festivals.
Tourism Minister Kim Hames said the strategy was backed by research by TNS Australia and Tourism Research Australia which showed that WA's fresh produce, succulent seafood, premium wines and boutique beers and ciders attracted about 400,000 travellers to the State each year.
"We know that visitors to the State are after a gourmet experience and so one of the strategy's goals is to grow the Margaret River Gourmet Escape into a world-leading food and wine festival," Dr Hames said.
"There's no doubt that our brand of quality and unique culinary tourism will play an important role in expanding tourism in WA. It's an important industry for us, generating more than 94,000 jobs and attracting $8.7 billion in visitor spend to the economy.
"The State Government's aim is to see that figure climb to $12 billion in the next five years and culinary tourism will play an important role in helping us reach that goal."
- Taste 2020 was produced by Tourism WA in conjunction with the departments of Regional Development, Agriculture and Food, and Fisheries following extensive research and community consultation
- To view the strategy, visit http://www.tourism.wa.gov.au
Premier's office - 6552 5000
Tourism Minister's office - 6552 5300