fortified wines to the full-bodied reds and deep, fruity whites. In 2005, Australia came in sixth in the list of world wine producers. Festivals such as ‘Tasting Australia’ are a major cultural feature in wine-producing regions of Australia and attract both local holidaymakers and international visitors year on year. It is interesting to trace the history of wines in Australia. As per the Australian Government, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (2008), it is believed that the first vines came to Australia as far back as 1788 with the first European settlers.
The credit of establishing the first commercial vineyard goes to John Macarthur and by the 20th century, the nation was importing 4.5 million litres of fully bodied red wines to the UK. The real impetus to the wine industry came between 1996-2007, where there was a whopping rise in exports. In 2006–07, sales of Australian wine totaled approximately 1.23 billion litres: 449 million litres were sold domestically and 786 million litres were exported. (Last Name 7)Coupled with tourism, festivals such as ‘Tasting Australia’ allow a complete experience combining cuisine, wine, culture, heritage, festivity and celebration.
It instills immense pride amongst the organizers and host city and gives local Australians a sense of belonging and pride in the community and nation. PLANNINGThe journal Critical Success Factors for Wine Tourism (1999) presents success factors of the wine and tourism industry and broadly these may be classified as ‘quality (of wine, service and experiences), wine country appeal, winery appeal and developmental and marketing factors’ (Getz, Dowling, Carlsen & Anderson 20-43). Adelaide can be termed as an epicurean’s paradise with cultural, artistic, gastronomic and intellectual events peppering its calendar throughout the year.
The city serves as an excellent base for trips to the nearby wine regions. The climate of Adelaide is essentially Mediterranean and the Adelaide Hills is located east of the city providing an ideal base for a memorable South(Last Name 8)Australian holiday with picturesque views, quaint country settings, a breathtaking countryside and seemingly endless vineyards. According to Service Quality at the Cellar Door: Implications for Western Australia’s Developing Wine Tourism Industry (2000), the wine region of Adelaide Hills has 33 cellar doors (O’Neill, Charters 8 ) and given this setting, Adelaide is indeed the most suited location to conduct ‘Tasting Australia’.
The Australian population is made up of 130 different nationalities and their food culture is a mix of Italian, Greek, Asian, French and Middle Eastern cuisine. South Australia has 275 wine producers and makes up almost half the nation’s wine produce. It is also home to innovative and inspirational chefs. The main mission of the festival is to promote the State’s best food and wine to the world. The vision of the organizers is to present the perfect kaleidoscope feast for the senses – bringing together gourmet cuisine, best-in-class wines and myriad events to help participants connect with South Australian culture and experience diversity.
According to the South Australian Food & Wine(Last Name 9)Tourism Strategy 2009-2014 (2009), ‘By 2020 South Australia will be recognized as the world’s leading food and wine tourism destination’. The goal of ‘Tasting Australia’ is to ensure a spectacular platform to showcase food and wine to tourists, professionals and citizens and create a unique experience for all attendees.
Food and wine festivals provide several economic benefits for the region boosting the hospitality industry (hotels and accommodation), tourism industry (if the festival is on an international or national scale), transportation sector and the restaurants and bars in the area, amongst others. The report ‘A history of the Australian wine show system’ states that the ‘show system has evolved from the British agricultural show tradition’ (Dunphy, Lockshin 3)As per the report, ‘The Rock, the Reef and the Grape: The Challenges of Developing Wine Tourism in regional Australia’, (2005), the wine industry in Australia has, thus far, ‘worked on a cottage industry mentality and there was a lack of cooperation between the wine and tourism industry’ (Beams 5).
This has definitely improved in the recent past. (Last Name 10)In order to ensure record participation, it is essential that an event like ‘Tasting Australia’ gets top share of voice in the media through advertising, public relations, brochures, pamphlets and leaflets. In the past ‘Tasting Australia’ events have generated more than $ 100 million worth of editorial media coverage. It is absolutely necessary that the festival adheres to the highest standards of quality and that the right organizers are handpicked to ensure flawless execution of the gala event.
‘Tasting Australia’ is able to attract tourists and visitors through food, wine, festivity, cultural and natural resources. The team has been able to exhibit a great product mix with the country’s top chefs, world-renowned chefs, restaurateurs, media, sommeliers and the general public flocking together under the same roof. In fact plans for ‘Tasting Australia’ 2010 are already underway and the focus of the festivities will be on South-Australia’s local heros that include chefs, writers, food and drink producers etc.
Besides being an exporter of food and wines, organizers of ‘Tasting Australia’ have decided to showcase South Australia’s proud professionals such as Maggie Beer, Cheong Liew, Christine Manfield and Simon Bryant. Tasting Australia is owned and managed by Events South Australia, a division of the South Australian Tourism Commission. (Last Name 11)HUMAN RESOURCESIt is without doubt that one requires tremendous skill to organize an event of this scale successfully. Besides the actual conceptualizing of the event, there is also the need to implement and execute the plan of action with impeccable precision.
Planning a public event in particular can be extremely challenging. This is because every single individual working on the site forms a part of the event workforce. This includes the event management team, paid staff, multiple contractors and volunteers and even the food vendors and cleaning teams that could cause the workforce to explode at the time of an event. Decision-making is done on the go and the event whizzes past at a fast pace, increasing stress levels and fatigue.
The fact of the matter is that for an event of the magnitude of ‘Tasting Australia’, there is very little time to train the volunteers and the main driving force for personnel on the event-site to maintain standards of customer service is self-motivation, self- discipline and the innate urge to excel. It is important that steps are taken to retain the volunteer work force for the event ‘Tasting Australia’ so that they come back every year. If the efforts of a volunteer are recognized, they will feel encouraged to put in their best effort and this will automatically result in a (Last Name 12)positive, enthusiastic climate (McCurley, Lynch 5).
According to psychologists Clemes and Bean, experts in self-esteem, it is important that all people satisfy three basic motivational needs – a sense of connectedness, uniqueness and a sense of power. For this, it is imperative that the volunteer staff is treated on par with employees – they must not have lower standards than paid staff, they must have equal participation in the decision making process and thus feel that they have played a significant part in the unit’s strategy.
All staff must be given challenging assignments that ensure that they utilize their individual strengths, thus making them feel effective and worthwhile. At ‘Tasting Australia’, all issues pertaining to legal considerations of human resource management have been put in place – these include the human resource strategy and objectives, policies and procedures, processes for recruitment, selection and induction, guidelines for training and professional development, supervision and evaluation and even retrenchment of staff.
First, the team decides which tasks need to be clubbed together to form a job, applicants are screened and appropriate candidates chosen. A decision also needs to be taken regarding the use of volunteers, which tasks they are needed