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New World Wine Interest Sells More Than Bottles

New World Wine Interest Sells More Than Bottles

Allan Scott winery owner and chair person of the BMW Wine Marlborough Festival says the MAF announcement today expressing confidence in the future for NZ wine sales is good news, but only part of the story.

"The wine industry is now a significant draw card and value adding industry for tourism too." said Mr Scott "this coming February is the 20th Anniversary of the Wine Marlborough Festival making it Australasia's longest running wine and food festival and we are seeing greater numbers of international visitors to the festival than ever before."

International visitors in Marlborough for the festival have driven the development of a new and higher value festival ticket. Festival co-ordinator and long time wine industry marketer Jo Libline explains saying "We have regulars coming annually to the festival from Australia, Europe, the UK Asia and the United States and now they have demanded a luxury festival product and they are very willing to pay to get it. This has meant after a small trial last year, introducing the Corporate Ticket which at $150 is five times the price of our general admission tickets. This enables people who are already familiar with our wine from buying it at home, to enjoy that wine in it's own region in an ideal environment."

The Corporate Ticket sold mostly through international bookings and to New Zealand corporates, gives access to a silk lined marquee where Marlborough wine and several food courses are served, all profiling local foods, like Marlborough's world renowned green lipped mussels. Ms Libline believes this is an invaluable marketing tool for NZ wine, she says "local wine makers and industry people make a point of talking with these festival goers who become strong advocates in their home markets for the wine after getting such a quality experience."

Anne Wilkes of specialist inbound travel agency Magnetic South believes wine is major draw card for international visitors she says " The success and quality of NZ wine internationally really drives interest in us as a destination and the wine knowledgeable wine drinker is exactly the right market for us to aim for. People who know their wine, are sophisticated in other areas too and willing to pay for quality, so the profile that gives us as a quality destination is invaluable."

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