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Australia is a nation which is traditionally seen as being an outstanding tourist destination. Many British people in particular eventually emigrate to the Antipodean nation, attracted by the markedly preferable Southern Hemisphere climate. Australia not only benefits from outstanding weather conditions, but its natural geography is also spectacular and varied, its wildlife exotic, and the nation effectively represents a vast territory for people to explore.

Aside from the outstanding physical aspects of the nation, Australia also has an extremely rich culture. Sydney can be considered one of the most attractive and vibrant cities on the planet, Australian sporting teams are among the most competitive on the planet, and native Australians are known to be incredibly warm and welcoming.

Australian Restaurant Culture

But perhaps the outstanding aspect of Australia, and one that continues to attract people from all over the world, is the abundance and quality of its food and wine. Reflecting this aspect of Australian culture, Tourism Australia has recently launched a multi-million-dollar campaign which focuses on the country’s food scene and agriculture.

Restaurant Australia was launched in May of last year, and later became part of an overarching campaign which featured the tagline “There’s Nothing Like Australia”. Tourism Australia made a decision to launch the campaign, as it was in possession of data which suggested that international travellers viewed Australia as a destination which features good food and wine.

The data emanated from the Tourism Australia Consumer Demand Project of 2013, which assessed nations all over the world based on their gastronomic offerings. In the latest survey, Australia had ascended the list, climbing from 10th place in 2012 to third in 2013. Only the notoriously food-related territories of France and Italy were ranked higher than the Antipodean nation, and this had very much driven the Tourism Australia strategy.

It is notable as well that figures also indicate that the digital marketing investment made by Tourism Australia has paid off demographically. Prior to visiting Australia, survey respondents from Indonesia, Korea, Japan, Germany and the US were the least enthusiastic about Australia’s cuisine. But having incentivised people to travel to the Southern Hemisphere nation, once people have visited, their attitude to Australia changes markedly. For people surveyed who have visited, those from China, the US, India and the UK rank Australia as the best nation for food and wine to which they have travelled.

East Asian Links

This is considered particularly valuable by Tourism Australia, as the nation is currently attempting to forge strong links with Chinese travellers due to its relative geographical proximity. Tourists from East Asia have traditionally primarily travelled to Europe and the United States when taking a holiday, but this perception is changing as Australia is successful in the process of attracting Chinese visitors in particular.

Thus, the Restaurant Australia campaign had a huge focus on this key East Asian demographic and region. Restaurant Australia included a $3.16 million spend across Greater China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and India. This encompassed advertising in print and on television, while Restaurant Australia also built up its presence in Asia with a separate website based around a social feed encouraging tourist to explore Australia’s food and beverage.

The Restaurant Australia campaign focused on a number of one-day social meet-ups, which were given attractive and attention-grabbing names in order to make them trend-worthy. “The Invite the World To Dinner” and “Tourism and Event Queensland’s Ultimate Instameet” created the impression of a fun campaign, which was interactive and genuinely collaborative.

Restaurant Australia

Social Media Integration

It is also notable that a significant amount of effort in the campaign was put into achieving Instagram integration. This photo-based social media platform is an outstanding way for destinations and brands to communicate something visual and truly striking to consumers which are unaccustomed to, or unfamiliar with, a product.

Tourism Australia has also attempted to take a very proactive view toward social media. The Restaurant Australia campaign advocated bringing together purveyors and restaurants from various regions in Australia. The aim behind this was to lend authenticity to the campaign and platform, in order to increase engagement and connection with the promotion.

From a social media perspective, the campaign was undoubtedly a huge success. Hashtag activity for #restaurantaustralia reached 21,441 contributions on Instagram and 28,155 on Twitter, while the last 100 tweets for #seeaustralia garnered 26,000 impressions.

Takeaways from the Restaurant Australian campaign are the focus of the destination on social media, and particularly in creating rich content which is photographic in nature. Tourists are encouraged to not merely view the campaign, but actively participate, which is always a more effective way of garnering attention from a contemporary audience.

The next stage for the Restaurant Australia campaign is obviously to turn this positive perception and social media engagement into actual visits and ultimately economic activity. But given the outstanding natural advantages which Australia enjoys, and the sensible photographic and communal basis for this campaign, an elevation in Australian tourism in the short-term seems highly possible.

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