Tourism Australia courts gastronomes in new push

Tourism Australia courts gastronomes in new push
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The beautiful vistas that have been the mainstay of Tourism Australia’s marketing may be replaced by snaps of gourmet food as the ad focus changes from nature to nourishment.

Tourism Australia (TA) this morning announced  a new “Restaurant Australia” positioning to be built into the next phase of its ongoing global ‘There’s nothing like Australia’ campaign.

Managing director of TA Andrew McEvoy said the stronger focus on food and wine is based on research that shows local cuisine now narrowly beats nature as a major factor in holiday decision making.

Good food and wine motivates 38% of holidaymakers, ranking third ahead of natural environments (37%), McEvoy said at global wine forum Savour Australia in Adelaide this morning.

“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%) 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.”

'Restaurant Australia' will be among the first work Clemenger BBDO Sydney has created for Tourism Australia since the agency secured the account earlier this year.

The foodie focus will build on the partnership the tourism body brokered with Wine Australia late last year, with both organisations to work together to raise awareness of Australia’s food credentials among overseas visitors.

TA also formed a partnership with Ultimate Wineries of Australia, a consortium of high-end wineries which offers luxury wine experiences, earlier this year.

Wine Australia’s general manager of market development, James Gosper, described the upcoming promotion as a “new era” for Australia’s food and wine industry.

“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.

Restaurant Australia will “ignite the tastebuds of travellers”, with the advertising to feature the fresh thinking, open air and flavours that set Australia’s foodie experiences apart McEvoy said.

“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.”

The announcement follows the appointment of Tourism Australia’s new creative agency, Clemenger BBDO Sydney who took over from long-term ad partner DDB on July 1 this year after a pitch.

DDB Sydney created the 'There's Nothing Like Australia' platform.

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