Almost 700 Australian businesses have so far shared their top eating and drinking tourism experiences as part of Tourism Australia's new Restaurant Australia campaign, aimed at putting Australia at the top of the menu for international visitors.
Tourism Australia Managing Director, John O'Sullivan, said it was pleasing to see its new food and wine campaign receiving strong and enthusiastic backing from industry.
"We started this campaign by putting out a rally cry to industry and early signs are they are backing it. There's already so many great stories coming in bringing to life the people, the produce and the places that we believe will inspire more international travellers to visit Australia and sample for themselves our incredible food and wine and our exceptional culinary experiences," he said.
Mr O'Sullivan said this year's Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE14) provided an ideal platform to present 'Restaurant Australia' to more than 1,800 Australian tourism operators and international buyers, as well as 70 of the world's top tourism and travel media.
"We've made sure that this year's ATE, hosted here in Cairns for the very first time, has a strong food and wine flavour, including the showcase opportunities at the welcome and farewell gala dinners and through the experiences included as part of the event familiarisation program," he said.
'Restaurant Australia' was unveiled last week in Sydney along with new creative, including a broadcast ad with special food and wine 'chapters' filmed in all eight of Australia's states and territories.
Mr O'Sullivan said the campaign aimed to tap in to the growing demand globally for food and wine as part of the travel experience, and was based on the idea of Australia being the world's greatest restaurant experience, 'Restaurant Australia.'
80 of the world's top food and wine influencers, including media, high profile bloggers, food critics and world renowned chefs, will be invited to Australia in November to take part in a series of food and wine-themed tours, covering the best food and wine experiences on offer in every state and territory. The visits will culminate in a gala event - 'Invite the World to Dinner' - which will be hosted by Tourism Tasmania at the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) in Hobart on 14 November 2014.
Within Australia, businesses with a strong food and wine offering are being invited to share their stories at www.australia.com/restaurantaustralia. All entries are being automatically listed on the website as a contributor to 'Restaurant Australia' with a link back to their own website.
The best experiences will have their story or product profiled in more detail on the website and potentially also included in the 'Invite the World to Dinner' media familiarisations being hosted in the coming weeks.
Industry is also being encouraged to get involved in the conversation by using #restaurantaustralia in social media communications, giving their products or experiences the opportunity to be amplified through Tourism Australia's popular social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and on www.australia.com/restaurantaustralia.
The latest evolution of the agency's global campaign had been developed based on research conducted by Tourism Australia in 15 of Australia's key tourism markets in 2013, which identified 'food and wine' as a key factor in holiday decision making and the most important emotive trigger, closely followed by world class beauty.
The research also identified a significant gap in the perceptions of Australia's food and wine offering – with people who have visited rating it highly compared to those who have not.
- For people who have never visited Australia only 26 per cent associate the destination with a good food and wine offering.
- However, for those who have visited Australia ranks second in the world for its food and wine experiences (60%) after culinary giant France and ahead of Italy.
Mr O'Sullivan said the campaign would help narrow the perception gap by 'dialling-up' the depth of Australia's food and wine experiences.
Tourism Australia has worked closely with Australia's state and territory tourism offices and industry bodies such as Wine Australia and Restaurant and Catering Australia to develop the new campaign.
To find out more visit www.australia.com/restaurantaustralia or www.tourism.australia.com.