The Queensland Wine Industry Association (QWIA) has received almost half a million dollars in state and federal funding to help increase the number of international tourists visiting Queensland’s wine regions.

QWIA will develop an International Wine Tourism Strategy, supported by $220,000 in funding from the Queensland Government, $220,000 from the Australian Government, and $10,000 of its own funds.

Announcing the Queensland Government funding, Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said that the project would develop and market a series of Queensland cellar-door experiences.

‘This $460,000 funding package will assist the QWIA in its efforts to better promote Queensland’s award-winning and unique wines to our international visitors,’ she said.

‘We know the latest generation of tourists are looking for unique experiences.

‘This grant will help Queensland wineries, the majority of which are small family-owned businesses, to develop authentic cellar-door experiences.’

QWIA President Mike Hayes said the industry association would collaborate with organisations such as Tourism and Events Queensland and the Queensland Hotels Association to cross-promote fine wine, food and tourism destinations and experiences.

‘Our collaboration with Tourism and Events Queensland and the Queensland Hotels Association will raise awareness of Queensland wine and leverage some of the existing activities, such as the successful “Strange Birds” wine trail in the Granite Belt,’ he said.

‘We now have truly come of age and are being taken seriously on both the national and international markets.

‘This funding will help promote our serious wine producers and take us even further into the national and export markets.’

The project is aiming to achieve measurable results before April 2020.

The federal funding was made under the Australian Government’s $50 million Export and Regional Wine Support Package, which also offers Wine Export Grants for individual winemakers.

Tourism is identified as the state’s most valuable services export in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

TIQ has supported a number of Queensland winemakers to export their products overseas, including Moffatdale Ridge winery, Ohana Winery and Exotic Fruits, and other South Burnett wineries.