The South West Development Commission, Margaret River Wine Association and MRBTA have collaborated on the itinerary of a Wine Australia-hosted group of influential wine trade and media visiting from the USA this week, comprising the following guests:
- Brittany Thomas – Senior Wine Buyer / Total Wine & More, the largest U.S. independent retailer of fine wine
- Doug Zucker – Director of Operations / Stew Leonard’s, a chain of supermarkets in Connecticut and New York
- James Zichterman – Wine Buyer / Cost Plus World Market, a chain of specialty/import retail stores
- Rebecca Boyd – Associate Buyer / Total Wine & More
- Kurtis Kolt – Wine Writer & Consultant
This group is small in number but large in influence. The retail buyers all have many stores and large product ranges, and the journalist was selected based on his trajectory in the industry. It is hoped that this group consistently talks about, buys and promotes Australian wine after the trip. This visit aims to show the group ‘great wine they can actually work with’.
Wine and tourism are inextricably linked – MRBTA has around 100 winery members which are destinations in their own right – so it makes sense to take a combined approach to shaping itineraries that will offer these influencers a memorable and immersive experience in the region.
Latest estimates show that the U.S. is Australia’s second most valuable wine export market and Western Australia’s fifth most important market for visitor numbers and visitor spend, so alongside our member business we hope that the group leaves with a fantastic impression of the region.
This week’s visit is a great example of the region’s Wine & Food Promotional Plan in action – a joint initiative formed by MRBTA and SWDC in 2015.