This research was a critical appraisal of the inter-relationship of the tourism industry and the wine industry in the Granite Belt area of Queensland, Australia. The thesis analyses the correlation between the two industries and how these links can be strengthened to the benefit of both industries.
The tourism industry and the wine industry were surveyed utilising structured interviews and analysed using the 'correlation research' method. The sample for the tourism industry was tourism association managers and the sample for the wine industry was the forty wine operations in the region that were open in winter 2003. Of the forty wine operations, 100% were involved in some of the information collected, and 75% were involved in the whole interview.
The key findings were in relation to the lifestyle choice of wine operators to go into the business of wine tourism. The majority of wine operators had limited knowledge of the tourism and hospitality industries and most were unprofessional in standards of service and recognising general tourist needs. Limited market research has been completed by any of the wine operators, for example, they had not surveyed such issues as their client's needs, ages, gender, or occupational background
The recommendations covered areas such as:
· The need for better signage on the wine tourism trail, through to education and training for wine tourism personnel, including better wine tours within an establishment;
· The need for wine operators to market and promote correct information, and to run their operation/s as a tourist business;
· The broader need for regional and government tourism bodies, local industries and organisations to work together, thus creating a professional and consistent standard in promotion and marketing that will enhance the whole district;
· The need for the opening of a wine centre which employs a person/s to promote all the wine operations, including a knowledge of wines, grapes, the district and all the wine operations;
· The need for more varied styles of restaurants and cafes to be opened within the district; and
· The need for attractions and activities at wine venues that cater for non wine drinkers, such as children and drivers, as these tourists also visit wine operations with family and friends and this could create a positive outcome for the district.
The thesis recommends that future research examines the needs of the tourist within the district. This should not only include information such as the wine tourists' age, gender and occupation and why they have chosen to visit the region known as the Granite Belt, but also the desires of groups such as families and tourists with special needs and a survey to elicit whether they are really being catered for in the wine tourism industry on the Granite Belt.