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Margaret River bids forinternational conference

MOVES are underway to stage the first International Wine Tourism Confer-ence and Expo in Margaret River in 2001.

WA has won the right to stage the event under a national agreement.

The Augusta-Margaret River Tour-ism Association is acting as the local host group for the same representative committee that staged the first National Wine Tourism Conference in 1998.

South West Development Commis-sion chairman Stuart Morgan said the 1998 conference had greatly contributed to ‘branding’ Margaret River as a world-class wine producing region.

“Wine tourism is an important and growing segment of the visitor industry worldwide and the South West is well placed to capitalise on this trend, not only because of its internationally renowned wines but also because wine tourism meshes so well with other attributes of the region, such as eco-tourism, gourmet food and art and craft,” Mr Morgan said.

He said there was considerable work to be done to assess the feasibility of the conference.

“The commission will provide a $10,000 grant to enable this assessment to be undertaken, as well as funding the development of a database of wine tourism and wine tourism operators around the world,” he said.

An electronic marketing and business plan is currently being prepared to give wine tourism operators around the world access to opportunities arising from the event.

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