Data Analysis Leads Australia To Dish Up Culinary Campaign

Australia's biggest draw may no longer be the super-cute koala or its stunning barrier reef. Instead, thanks to data analysis, Tourism Australia is focusing on promoting the country's cuisine, Skift has reported.

Following rave reviews for its cuisine by tourists - in particular those from China, the US, India and the UK, which ranked the country number one for food and wine - Australia launched a new culinary campaign in May this year.

The $8.6 million (£5.4 million) advertising campaign called Restaurant Australia puts the focus firmly on Australia's gastronomic success, as well as agriculture. Running the tagline "There's nothing like Australia," the campaign is the result of data showing that the destination's food and wine is a big hit with visitors.

Tourism Australia's research identified that the perception of the country's wining and dining was poor among those who had not yet been there. More than half (54%) of survey respondents placed France way ahead in the gastronomic stakes, with just 23% of them saying that Australia offered good food and wine. But among those who had visited the country, 53% commended its good food and wine - putting Australia above the likes of Japan, Thailand and Spain.

In fact when its food was rated by survey participants who had been there, Australia climbed from tenth place to third behind France and Italy. The US ranked ninth.

As part of the new culinary campaign, pop-up restaurants appeared in London while themed food trucks were used in France; and the world's influential foodies were treated to the 'ultimate dinner voyage' in Tasmania recently.

Australia will also turn its geographical location to its advantage, with $3.16 million (£2 million) of the Restaurant Australia budget being spent across Greater China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and India. China in particular poses an opportunity, given the increased independent travel of its citizens.

As well as TV and print advertising, the campaign includes a separate website with a social feed to explore the food and beverage offerings in eight Australian states - Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia.

Instagram will also be used, allowing food lovers to share their food and wine experiences. The social media platform "lends itself particularly well" to this purpose, said Nick Baker, chief marketing officer of Tourism Australia.

"We wanted to really get people talking about Australia's exceptional food and wine offering to specifically address the perception gap which exists. A key component of this was to bring the content back into our website," he commented.

Meanwhile the hashtag #restaurantaustralia produced 190,000 impressions for the last 100 tweets, according to Tweet Archivist in November. That's 7.3 times the discovery lift over the branded hashtag #seeaustralia, which garnered 26,000 impressions.

However, the proof will be in the pudding – when Australia turns its social media success into trips to sample the food, wine and culture.