World wants to feast on our food and wine: Tourism Australia

19 September, 2013

Tourism Australia's plans to ramp up the promotion of Australia's food and wine experiences in its international marketing were unveiled recently at the country's largest ever global wine forum – Savour Australia 2013.

The details of Tourism Australia's new focus on food and wine as part of its global campaign – There's nothing like Australia – was shared with more than 800 wine industry and media delegates from across the globe at the inaugural Wine Australia forum.

Tourism Australia managing director Andrew McEvoy said the development of the new approach to marketing Australia's culinary experiences to prospective visitors was based on strong consumer insight.

"There is a growing appetite (literally) globally for food and wine as part of the travel experience and Australia has all the right ingredients to capitalise on this opportunity – with the finest array of produce served in the most stunning locations in the world," McEvoy said.

"Research across 15 of Australia's key tourism markets shows that great food, wine and local cuisine is now a major factor in holiday decision making (at 38 per cent), ranking third ahead of world class beauty and natural environments (37 per cent).

"However, our challenge is that for people who have never visited Australia, only 26 per cent associate the destination with a good food and wine offering. For those who have visited though, Australia is ranked second for its food and wine experiences (60 per cent) after culinary giant France and ahead of Italy (third).

"We are ranked as the number one destination for food and wine for people who have visited from China, USA, France, India, Indonesia, Malaysia the UK and South Korea.

"Clearly, we need to narrow the perception gap between those who have visited Australia and those who have not. This is a great marketing and communications challenge.

"To do this we are evolving our global campaign with the idea that Australia could be the world's greatest restaurant – Restaurant Australia – serving up the most unique food and wine experiences in remarkable locations every day," McEvoy said.

Working with its marketing partner Wine Australia, the tourism industry and leading food and wine identities, Tourism Australia will now incorporate the food and wine experience much more strongly in its global campaigns.

Commenting on the launch of Tourism Australia's new food and wine strategy, Wine Australia's general manager, market development, James Gosper said the strategy would move the promotion of wine into the lifestyle space and create a compelling reason to experience Australia.

"Tourism Australia's food and wine strategy will help forge a strong identity in the marketplace about Australia's incredibly diverse, unique and top quality wine and food experiences," Gosper said.

"This is an exciting new era in the promotion of our food and wine and will ensure our offering becomes more relevant to the decision making process for travel to and within Australia.

"This new food and wine focus will help the wine industry extend its consumer reach on a scale we've not been able to achieve before," Gosper said.

McEvoy said the Restaurant Australia concept would be built into the next phase of Tourism Australia's global campaign – There's nothing like Australia – to expand global perceptions of Australia's tourism offering.

"There's nothing like Australia has already been a huge success around the world, appearing in 25 countries and translated in to 17 different languages, by highlighting our warm and welcoming people and spectacular natural beauty," McEvoy said.

"Now we will be looking to ignite the tastebuds of travellers world-wide with a marketing push that captures the fresh thinking, open air, and the flavours that define our food and wine offering and can set Australia apart from the rest of the world as a tourist destination.

"Whether it's devouring fresh shucked oysters in Tassie, quaffing wine at a cellar door in SA, exploring Melbourne's multicultural cuisines or sipping coffee in a laneway, feasting on sun-kissed fruit and seafood on a Queensland island, tasting Marron for the first time at a vineyard in WA, sampling bush tucker in outback NT, fine dining in Sydney or following one of the many food trails or festivals in Australia – we want international visitors to know they will be spoilt for choice in Australia," McEvoy said.

Tourism Australia's food and wine strategy builds on the tourism marketing agency's partnership with Wine Australia, announced in late 2012, which sees the two organisations working together to raise awareness of Australia's wine and food offering to attract more international visitors to Australia.

Earlier this year Tourism Australia also announced a partnership with Ultimate Wineries of Australia, a consortium of high-end, award winning wineries offering unique wine experiences including barrel, private and structured tastings, food-wine matching, wine education and gastronomy in spectacular locations within renowned wine regions.