IGA Taste Great Southern food and wine festival runs until April 3
Festival comprises more than 50 events across the Great Southern region
Supported by the State Government through Tourism WA and Royalties for Regions
Food and wine enthusiasts will sample some of Australia's best gourmet delights at unique locations over the next fortnight as the IGA Taste Great Southern culinary festival gets underway.
The annual event comprises nearly 50 activities that celebrate the lifestyle, premium food and award-winning wine of the Great Southern region and its wine sub-regions of Frankland River, Mount Barker, Porongurup, Denmark and Albany.
In a new timeslot encompassing Easter, the 2016 festival's daily program includes long-table lunches, cooking demonstrations, degustation dinners, wine tastings and markets.
Tourism Minister Kim Hames said the State Government had extended its sponsorship of IGA Taste Great Southern until 2018, through Tourism WA's Regional Events Program, made possible by Royalties for Regions.
"Over the next 17 days, visitors and locals will have a unique chance to discover why the Great Southern is regarded as one of Australia's premier food and wine regions, as well as a destination of incredible natural beauty," Dr Hames said.
"The festival has once again attracted a fantastic line-up including Western Australia's food ambassador Don Hancey, media personality Verity James and two of Australia's best-known cooks and TV personalities, Anna Gare and Tobie Puttock."
Regional Development Minister Terry Redman said nearly 9,000 people attended last year's IGA Taste Great Southern, helping to boost the region's economy and profile as an events destination.
"Events like IGA Taste Great Southern strengthen local tourism-related businesses and contribute to the vibrancy of regional communities," Mr Redman said.
"Tourism has a strong influence on regional development and I am pleased to see Royalties for Regions invest in the Regional Events Program to bring significant social and economic benefits throughout regional WA."
Dr Hames said tourism generated $8.9 billion in visitor spend in the 12 months to September 2015, including $4 billion in regional WA.
"Our strategy is to increase this value to $12 billion by 2020," he said.
Tourism Minister's office - 6552 5300
Regional Development Minister's office - 6552 6700