BUSINESS Events Australia will make food and wine experiences one of the key selling points in its destination promotion efforts targeted at Singapore event planners in the next financial year beginning July 1.
Karyn Kent, general manager of South/South East Asia & Gulf Countries with Tourism Australia, told TTGmice e-Weekly: “Our consumer demand research last year showed that Singaporeans who had been to Australia rated very highly their food and wine experiences in the destination. With that, we know there are huge opportunities in the food and wine aspect of Australia and we want to highlight the dining experiences in our branding activity next year.”
Kent believes that Business Events Australia must devise new ideas, such as by leveraging on dining experiences, to “keep Australia fresh and desirable” for Singapore event planners because it is an important source market with a high repeat visitor segment of 82 per cent.
“Singapore ranks the fifth largest in terms of overall arrivals and is our eighth largest business events market. In the South-east Asian region, Singapore is right at the top,” she said.
Australia welcomed 350,000 visitors from Singapore in 2012.
Dining festivals and events across Australia, especially those that can be included in a business programme, will be promoted. Examples of annual major festivals are Melbourne Food and Wine Festival in March, Noosa International Food & Wine Festival in May and Margaret River Gourmet Escape in November.
To further increase options in Australia for repeat clients, the bureau will also step up promotions of regional destinations, such as Phillip Island and Ballarat’s Sovereign Hill which are close to Melbourne, through roadshows and familiarisation trips.
“Singapore event planners know about the activities that can be done around iconic locations, such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb, but not all are aware of our regional areas. Some of these destinations are not far from the big cities and are easily accessible within an hour or two, but they offer a completely different experience,” Kent said.