September’s MRBTA Mingle saw members and staff gathered at the stunning cellar door & store at Bettenay’s Margaret River enjoying the views over the lake and vineyard.
Starting the speakers for the evening was event host & masterful storyteller, Greg Bettenay. Greg gave a rundown of the history of the property, originally a sheep station before the Bettenays bought it 31 years ago and converted it to a family winery, nougat and accommodation business. Greg regaled attendees with his tale of their beginnings selling wine from the front porch of their house. They’ve recently done some renovations to the venue including an enclosed area of windows that overlook the lake and provides a welcome space out of the wind for visitors who can now sit down and enjoy a coffee or tea. Exciting progress for their business!
The team at Western Growers Fresh provided catering for the evening and owner Sonja Mitchell spoke about her and partner Greg’s passion for WA produce. Western Growers Fresh offers not only fresh WA produce onsite but also catering & pickup options as well as pre-packed meals. Sonja discussed how tourism touches on all parts of regional centres and its important to work together to support one another’s businesses. She invites all MRBTA members to stop in and introduce themselves at their Busselton store.
Sharna Kearney gave an overview of Tourism Western Australia’s ‘Wander Out Yonder’ campaign and the tours & experiences voucher program. It has been a great initiative with MRBTA Marketing & Membership facilitating a coordinated effort to ensure it maximised outcomes for MRBTA Members. Sharna noted that the road ahead looks a little bumpy and that MRBTA will continue to work in a reactive manner to ensure a smoother journey through current challenges. For this reason, it is very important for us to have constant feedback so please be sure to get in touch with the MRBTA team with any concerns or thoughts you might have. After the recent efforts promoting tours & experiences, we can see that the bookings in the accommodation sector are looking light through November and early December and relevant members have been contacted to let us know how they are doing and provide feedback that helps MRBTA direct where efforts are focused over the coming months.
Pip Close provided an update in her role as Tourism Product Development Specialist and the continued focus on the domestic market. She noted that Byron Bay and Margaret River took up the highest amount of JobKeeper which highlights how reliant our regions are on tourism. The international market will take a while to recuperate and the next year could be tough. The target, for now, is the Perth population and then it will be a real interstate, east coast market, but not until the borders open up. If you are interested in developing your product for these markets or building new experiences, marketing opportunities, supports & contacts, book in for a session by sending Pip an email.
The formalities ended with a video wrapping up the ’30 Days, 30 Ways’ campaign and highlighting the amazing tour options that we have in our region. Watch it via the button below:
If you would like any further detail on any of the above or have any feedback, thoughts or concerns, please contact the Membership Team, we are always happy to hear from you!
All up, it was an incredible evening and the Bettenay’s team did an incredible job of hosting with their attentive staff, wine gift packs for attendees, and liqueurs and nougat tastings, it all made for a really warm and cosy atmosphere.