Tourism Gastronomy



Tourism Gastronomy
A p ub lic a t ion b y t he French- A us tr alian Chambe r of Commer ce & In d u st r y
J u ly 2 0 1 5
Tourism & Gastronomy
Tourism & Gastronomy
rance-Australie is a publication of the French-Australian
Chamber of Commerce & Industry. It is distributed
to all member organisations Australia-wide, French
and Australia Government officials, EU representatives in
Australian the French Chambers of Commerce in the Asia
Pacific region and the CCI network in France.
The French-Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry was
founded in 1899. At the time, Australia's trade relations with
France were almost solely dependent on the export of wool.
More than a century later, this relationship now includes a host of
many other industries.
The French-Australian Chamber is an important not-for-profit
organisation governed by 15 Board of Directors and comprising
more than 750 members. Our head office is based in Sydney
and we also have four other Chapters and offices in Melbourne,
Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.
The Chamber is affiliated to the CCI France International, a
worldwide network of 112 French Chanbers operating in 82
The Chamber's main mission is to promote our members and help
French companies to succeed in Australia through information,
networking and business support services.
Our team
Olivier Deschang
VIC Chapter Manager
& National Coordinator
Claire Kasses
NSW Chapter Manager
Gemma Jones
NSW Chapter - Membership
& Communication Manager
Jeremy O’Connor
NSW Chapter - Membership & Marketing
Claire Dupré
QLD Chapter Coordinator
Bertrand Cauvin
Head Of Business Services
Géraldine André
Business Development & Trade Assistant
Madelaine Kenihan
Business Development & Trade Assistant
Vérène Issautier
VIC Chapter
Events & Partnership Coordinator
Virginie Casse
VIC Chapter Communication Assistant
Kevin Quemarrec
Graphic Designer
Tourism & Gastronomy
As a member of CCI France International, the French-Australian
Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FACCI) offers a comprehensive
range of business services and communication tools to provide you with
the necessary infrastructural support should you be looking to expand,
find new commercial partners, or establish your business in Australia
and France.
Tourism & Gastronomy
Dear Readers,
The French-Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry is proud to release the latest edition of
the France-Australie webzine highlighting Tourism and Gastronomy in Australia.
The tourism industry remains a key contributor to the Australian economy, generating $102 billion in
tourism expenditure and contributing almost 3 per cent to Australia’s GDP in 2014. This industry has
been identified as one of the economy’s five ‘super-growth sectors’ according to Deloitte, employing
almost 5 per cent of the Australian work force and contributing $27 billion to Australian exports.
A contributing factor to the increasing number of tourists to Australia is undoubtedly the flourishing
gastronomic scene. With a strong diversity of culture emerging in Australia over the past few decades,
Australians (and overseas tourists!) have embraced new tastes and value a complete food and wine experience.
This edition reveals how industry insiders believe Australia’s high quality food and wine has contributed to this thriving
epicurean scene. Tourists who have visited Australia have noticed this pronounced change, and now consider Australia as
the second best destination for a gourmet food and wine experience in the world, according to Tourism Research Australia.
French companies such as Accor, Club Med and Ponant have taken advantage of this increasingly more sophisticated
demographic by entering the market with their French expertise and style as a point of difference.
This issue will also discuss the economic opportunities that tourism provides, especially the creation of improved and more
dynamic infrastructure in cities. The contribution of Tourism and Transport Forum gives an insight of the vital economic role
that better transport networks can play in the modern economy. This matter will also be one of the key subjects in the Smart
City Forum on Wednesday 16 September 2015, which will discuss solutions to create more effective transport networks and
‘smart’ cities.
This France-Australie aims to highlight the current trends and opportunities within the Australian tourism and gastronomy
industry thanks to the insights of our contributors, industry leaders and experts in their field. Our special thanks to John
O’Sullivan, Managing Director – Tourism Australia, who will introduce the Chamber’s webzine with a foreword overviewing
the sector today, and to the Members and the Companies who contributed to this issue.
Bonne lecture,
Olivier Deschang
VIC Chapter Manager & National Coordinator
The French-Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Tourism & Gastronomy
our Patron Members
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Tourism & Gastronomy
10____Foreword - John O’Sullivan - Tourism Australia
12 ____Our Contributors
14 ____Overview of the Tourism & Hospitality Industry in Australia
_____Attractiveness of the Australian Tourism & Hospitality
Market for International Companies
• Australia: A World-leading Tourist & Destination
• French Expertise in Australia: Accor’s success story
• Market Opportunities within Hospitality & Tourism in Australia
• Australian Tourism in France: A Growing Opportunity
____New Gastronomy Trends
• Overview of the current Gastronomic Trends in Australia
• La Carte des Vins: French vs Australian wines
• French Top Sellers: Fine Selection of Gourmet products
• A Country of “foodies”: An analysis of Australian’s
growing culinary culture
____Chamber Section
• Calendar of Events
• New Members
• Business Services
Tourism & Gastronomy
I’m pleased to say that Australian tourism is performing well, with our international arrivals and spending both
at record levels, growing around 8% in the last year.
The good news - and what every destination marketing organisation yearns for - is we possess a great
product. Fundamentally, Australia is a destination with enormous international appeal, consistently ranked
highly for our world class nature and our warm and welcoming people. But all this is only a competitive
advantage if it can be successfully converted into more visits, particularly from high yielding visitors likely to
stay longer, travel deeper and spend more during their trips.
Our marketing must engage and inspire consumers to take the next step towards booking an Australian holiday, whether that
means visiting, searching the internet or visiting a travel agent.
This means targeting our marketing resources towards those international markets that present the best growth prospects. It
also means investing in areas that will drive increased spend and conversion. One of these areas we’ve found through our own
recent research is food and wine.
For generations people have travelled to Australia to experience our world-class nature and wildlife. Increasingly, however, more
people are discovering that Australia’s exceptional food and wine experiences are also one of its greatest assets.
With a range and quality of produce that is second to none, combined with a rich history of migration, Australia has become
home to one of the most exciting and multicultural cuisines in the world. Chefs, winemakers and producers revel in the creativity
of a food and wine culture unbridled by tradition.
Combined with a superb climate, Australia’s food and wine experiences lead us outside to enjoy some of the world’s finest
flavours against a backdrop of stunning scenic beauty. Yet, remarkably, the appeal of Australian food and wine has remained
one of our best-kept secrets. And therein lies our opportunity and the inspiration for our current Restaurant Australia campaign,
which we launched in June last year.
Tourism & Gastronomy
By tapping into the groundswell of interest globally and the boom in gourmet tourism, we want to showcase the way food
and wine will make any visit to Australia memorable – whether it be for business or leisure. The aim has been to expand our
successful campaign “There’s nothing like Australia” and, for the first time, give food and wine a dedicated focus.
Whilst Australia is not automatically associated with having a good food and wine offering amongst those who haven’t visited,
once people visit Australia the destination catapults to near the top of the culinary rankings. Ironically enough just behind France!
Closing this perception gap and highlighting the reality of our exciting world-class food and wine offer is a huge opportunity, and
what the Restaurant Australia concept is all about.
Now is the time to bring our culinary assets to the fore and put Australia on the global food and wine map once and for all.
While it is still early days in terms of measuring the full impact of the campaign, the results to date have been impressive. We
set a goal to increase the amount of expenditure on food and wine to $5 billion by the end of the calendar year. We’re on track.
We’ve also seen a 30 percent increase in the perception of Australia as a food and wine destination to people who haven’t been
here. We’ve done major consumer events in fifteen of our key markets, including in France with a Restaurant Australia-themed
food truck touring a dozen locations across Paris in September and October last year.
I think one of the key successes of Restaurant Australia has been to increase access and connectivity between tourism and the
hospitality sector, which have been really important for us because the two are so reliant on one another for success.
Tourism Australia will continue to incorporate Australia’s food and wine experiences in its global marketing push over the coming
John O’Sullivan
Managing Director
Tourism & Gastronomy
John O’Sullivan was
announced as the new
Managing Director of
Tourism Australia on 28
January 2014, commencing the
role on 31 March 2014.
As the Managing Director of
the nation’s global tourism
marketing agency, he is
responsible for driving Tourism
Australia’s strategies to grow
demand internationally for
Australia’s tourism experiences
– helping to grow the sector
to between $115 and $140
billion annually by the end of the
decade as part of the Tourism
2020 plan.
Simon McGrath is Chief
Operating Officer for Accor
Pacific, responsible for over
250 hotels, 33,000 rooms and
12,000 employees in the Pacific
Simon has worked in
management positions
domestically and overseas and
in senior executive positions in
Australia’s major city and tourist
destinations, including Sydney,
Gold Coast, Cairns, Hamilton
Island and Ayers Rock Resort as
well as internationally in Malaysia
and Thailand.
Lisa Cornish is a survey manager within
Tourism Research Australia.
Previously, she has worked as a data
journalist with News Corp Australia
providing insights into varying topics using
data-driven journalism. She has also worked
as the manager of the federal government’s
open data portal,
Lisa has a wealth of experience in data
analysis, data management, geospatial
analysis, data visualisation and open data
and is enjoying bring insights from the most
detailed tourism data available in the world.
Joey Templin has been working for Club
Med for 21 years. Today he holds a dual
role of both HR manager and Business
Development Manager for Groups &
Incentives. Joey started his career in Club
Med working as a Gentil Organisateur
overseas. 7 years later he became
Australia’s first Resort Manager (Chef de
Village). He has proudly worked in over 30
Club Med resorts spanning 15 countries.
Margy Osmond is the Chief Executive
Officer of the Tourism & Transport
Forum, assuming the role on 1 October
2014. Margy has extensive experience in
policy development and advocacy, politics,
membership organisations, management,
media and public relations.
Before joining TTF, Margy was the inaugural
CEO of ANRA which was established in
2006 as a lobby and research organisation
to be the voice of the large national retailers
in Australia. Prior to this, Margy was the
CEO of the State and Sydney Chambers of
Commerce in NSW for five years.
Tourism & Gastronomy
With a passion for cruising and over
20 years’ experience in Australia and
internationally in the travel sector, Monique
brings an international perspective to
PONANT in the Asia Pacific markets.
Having held senior positions at Qantas
Airways as National Advertising Manager
and International Marketing Manager, she
provides a strong understanding of what
Australians expect when planning and
travelling on holiday. Monique is Vice
President of Australasia for the French
luxury and expedition cruise line PONANT
and has led the operation since opening in
Sydney in 2013.
Patrick Benhamou is the Director of
Atout France since 2001. Thanks to
his experience as the Director of Maison
de France in Australia, Netherlands and
Canada, he has gained a strong expertise in
the tourism industry.
Ingrid Kocijan started with Rail Europe
in April 2014 in the role of Manager
Australasia and is responsible sales &
marketing through their 6 General Sales
Agents in Australia & NZ as well as online
channels. Ingrid graduated from RMIT
University with a Bachelor of International
Studies & started her travel career at Flight
Centre head office in Melbourne. From there
she moved to one of Rail Europe’s General
Sales agents, Rail Plus. Her 8 years at Rail
Plus cemented a love of European rail travel
so when the role to head up the Australian
& NZ Rail Europe business came up it made
perfect sense.
Reaching the pinnacle of
his career, after receiving
his 80th Hat, and with
the timely handover
of his eponymous
restaurant, Jacques
Reymond Restaurant
to his sous chefs, whom
have re-opened as
Woodland House, chef
restaurateur Jacques
Reymond continues
to embark on culinary
Mark is an experienced
international executive with a
strong track record in global
business development and
strategic marketing within the
premium beverage industry.
He has acted as an R&CA
Restaurant Judge, Judge of the
Apprentice of the Year Awards
and has created menus for
countless functions including
7 years managing the F&B operations of the Moet & Chandon
Marquee at the Flemington Melbourne Cup.
As a passionate ‘foodie’ Mark has been selected by
Gault&Millau to complete studies in Paris to qualify him in the
role of Chief Judge and to oversee the reviewing process of
Australia’s leading restaurants.
Tourism & Gastronomy
Overview of The Tourism & Hospitality Industry in
Tourism & Hospitality Industry in Australia
$117.2bn $19Bn
Australian Travellers
French Travellers
in France (2014)
in Australia (2014)
Favorite Australian’s attractions in France
Australians make 10%
of guided tours in the
Bordeaux area
Tourism & Gastronomy
Le Louvre attracting
Australians a year
(3rd international market)
The Eiffel Tower attracting
Australians a year
(7th international market)
Consumer profile in australia
Products & Services
Visitors by country of residence
Transport - 31.4%
Accomodation - 16.6%
Operation of tourist venues & retailing - 27.7%
Hospitality services - 24.3%
New Zealand
Hong Kong
International visitors
visitors in 2014
Spend in 2014
(over 43% from Asia)
Domestic visitors
81.4M $54.4bn
overnight trips
Spend in 2014
Consumer profile in australia
280,000 visitors
$425M spend
2,121,000 visitors
$4,103M spend
3,156,000 visitors
807,000 visitors
$6,992M spend
$2,352M spend
181,000 visitors
390,000 visitors
$735M spend
$373M spend
2,098,000 visitors
$4,857M spend
168.000 visitors
$254M spend
Tourism & Gastronomy
Overview of The Tourism & Hospitality Industry in
Survey Manager
• In Australia local residents make up the majority of tourists,
however the number of international visitors is currently rising.
What is the national revenue generated by both international
and domestic tourists and how does it differ between states?
The percentage growth of international visitors is increasing faster
than domestic tourism. Between September 2013 and September
2014, international tourists increased by 8 per cent compared to a
small growth of 0.3 per cent in domestic.
But domestic tourism remains Australia’s strongest market.
At year ending September 2014, Australians made 163 million
daytrips made and 80 million overnight trips. International trips
totaled 6.3 million.
Expenditure statistics for this period have international expenditure
accounting for 22 per cent of national tourism expenditure, rising
from 21 per cent the year before.
By state, the role of international tourism in overall tourism revenue
varies from 10.8 per cent in Tasmania to 25.1 per cent in New South
• Australia has many pristine natural landscapes as well as
vibrant cities and cultural and sporting attractions. Which of
these are most attractive to international tourists who visit
According to data from our International Visitor Survey, international
tourists tell us that their most memorable experience of Australia
followed by our coast and beaches.
But our survey also asks about a select number of places visited and
the preference of international tourists varies in each state between
sites of historical significance, environmental significance and cultural
• New South Wales: Historic and cultural Sydney, including Sydney
Opera house
• Victoria: Historic and cultural Melbourne, including Queen Victoria
• Queensland: Coastal regions and the Great Barrier Reef
• South Australia: Cultural Adelaide, including Adelaide Central
• Western Australia: Fremantle
• Tasmania: Historic and natural Tasmanian, including the Tasman
Peninsula and Port Arthur
• Northern Territory: the Red Centre
• Australian Capital Territory: Historic Canberra, including
Parliament House and the Australian War Memorial.
16 Tourism & Gastronomy
• From which countries do the largest numbers of international
tourists visiting Australia come from? How significant is the
economic impact from these countries alone?
For year ending September 2014 the top five countries or origin for
international visitors were:
• New Zealand, 1.1 million visitors
• China, 735,650 visitors
• United Kingdom, 630,342 visitors
• United States of America, 508,521 visitors
• Singapore, 321,023 visitors
These five countries play a significant role on Australian tourism –
last year visitors from these countries accounted for 53 per cent of
all international visitors and 48 per cent of the $20.3 billion foreign
tourists spent in Australia.
• While Australians travel extensively domestically, overseas
travel by Australians is expected to grow to 9.3 million people
in 2014-2015 and to 12.3 million in 2022-2023. What factors are
influencing this growth?
Between September 2006 and September 2014, international travel
by Australian for holiday has more than doubled from 2.2 million
outbound trips to 4.7 million. International travel for business and
to visit friends and relatives have also grown strong, but not to the
extent of international travel for holiday.
The strong Australian dollar has had a significant impact on this
growth, and it will be interesting to see the impact the recent decline
plays on outbound tourism.
Increased airline competitiveness and an increasing global society
have also opened up Australia to the world, encouraging Australian
to travel more and experience a world outside their own.
• What advice would you give Australian tourist operators to
make their services more appealing in order to make the most
of the influx of Asian tourists?
Tourism Research Australia would certainly encourage tourist
operators to look at our data. There is a wealth of insight that can be
generated from analysing the travel habits of our international visitors.
For example, operators can analyse our data by region to find out
who is visiting their area and how long they will stay. Or they can
analyse they behavior of visitors by their country of origin – where
they are likely to travel to, what activities they will do and how much
will they spend. And they can discover much more.
Analysis can help tourist operators tailor services that will meet the
needs of a variety of markets, including Asian tourists, and can help
for the basis of business and marketing plans.
But we would also encourage tourist operators to look at other groups
that are showing strong growth. For example, between September
2006 and September 2014, we have seen a 70 per cent increase in
tourists visiting from France.
• International tourists coming to Australia are among the
highest spenders and stay for the longest period compared
with other tourist destinations. How do you explain this
To understand this trend, we need to analyse visitors by the purpose
of their trip.
On average at year ending September 2014, visitors to Australia
stayed for an average of 35 nights and spent an average of $3,244
each while in Australia. This figure excludes any money going
towards their trip before coming to Australia, including airfares, tours
and accommodation paid for at home.
But these statistics are thrown out by some of our longer staying
For the same period, international visitors coming to Australia for
education stayed for an average of 137 nights and spend an average
of $16,437.
Visitors coming to Australia for employment stayed an average of 118
nights and spent an average of $8,866.
When we look purely at the holiday market, the average nights drops
to 26 and expenditure to $2,398.
Business travelers, such as those visiting Australia for a conference,
stayed an average of just 14 nights and spent an average of $2,384.
People visiting friends and relatives stayed longer than the holiday
market (an average of 28 nights), but spend significantly less – an
average of $1,620 while in Australia.
The shortest stays in Australia tend to be for our nearest neighbours
including New Zealand and Singapore, suggesting that visitors who
need to travel a longer distance will spend more time here to make
the long trip worth the effort. •
Tourism & Gastronomy
Attractiveness of the Australian TOurism &
Hospitality market for international companies
HR manager & Business
Development Manager
• How long has Club Med been operating Australia? How has
Club Med adapted its all-inclusive holiday villages model to
the Australian market?
Club Med has proudly been operating in Australia for over 40 years
and today we are the worldwide leaders in premium all-inclusive
holidays. By listening to the Australian market we understand the true
importance of personalisation, attention to detail, more innovation
and, most importantly, in delivering an exceptional service.
• Since 2008, Club Med has put a lot of effort on its rebranding
in Australia to fit the upscale strategy launched in Europe, and
globally, in 2004. What is Club Med’s strategy to attract both
domestic and international tourists?
Club Med are continuing to evolve our upscale offering through
developing our Exclusive Collection, a range of private Villas, Chalets
and 5 Trident Resorts in the world’s most coveted destinations. In
February this year, we opened the Finolhu Villas in the Maldives, a
collection of 52 exquisitely designed Eco Nature Villas, and plan to
open many more in the next five years.
It’s important for us to not only have beautiful accommodation,
but to truly look after our Gentil Membres (GMs), and give them an
experience they will remember for a lifetime. Our exclusive services,
18 Tourism & Gastronomy
including breakfast in bed daily and free flowing champagne from
5pm, are part of the little details that make Club Med’s Exclusive
Collection so unique.
• Club Med has recently optimised its organisation in Asia
with the creation of two offices to manage its activities in
China and Asia Pacific. What is Club Med’s competitive
advantage to approach the Asian tourism market in both Asia
and Australia?
Club Med are the pioneers of the Premium all inclusive concept, and
we truly do it like no one else. From the minute our GMs set foot in
our Resorts, they truly feel the Club Med spirit and warmth from our
multicultural Gentil Organisateur (GO) staff – and it’s something that is
so unique to us and our brand.
We embrace the local culture within our Resorts; both through
gastronomy and architectural design, and experiences are all taken
care of within a GM’s holiday – giving them the freedom to choose
how to spend their time.
What’s more, as evident in our upscale strategy, Club Med are
constantly evolving to meet the needs and desires of the tourism
industry. With our partners, Fosun, we are proactively seeking
opportunities to deliver new and exciting experiences for our GMs
both in Australasia and beyond.
matter where they are.
• The tourism industry is even more competitive today with the
arrival of online competitors such as Airbnb, online booking
platforms or price comparison websites. How does Club Med
face the digitalisation of the industry?
Club Med currently have a strong presence in the digital world both
through our website, online booking services and our social media
channels, so we are available to our GMs no matter which way they
choose to communicate with us. We also are dedicated to digitising
our Resorts and provide a seamless experience for our GMs.
Our Val Thorens Snow Resort in France is a perfect example of this:
we provide hands free ski passes for greater convenience and Wi-Fi
on the slopes, so GMs can stay connected to friends and family no
• What are Club Med’s objectives in the next 5 years? Have you
identified new promising areas of development in Australian
Our objectives are to continue to be leaders in premium all-inclusive
holidays, and to continue opening 5 Trident Villas, Chalets, and
Resorts in the world’s most breathtaking destinations – which include
our recent Finolhu Villas and the upcoming Club Med Dong’ao, off
the coast of Macau in China.
Above all, we are committed to keeping our GMs at the heart of the
Club Med experience, and maintaining that unique Club Med spirit
and warmth that has led us to where we are today. •
Tourism & Gastronomy 19
Attractiveness of the Australian TOurism &
Hospitality market for international companies
Chief Operating Officer
• Accor is present in 92 countries with 2,800 hotels. When did
you enter the Australian market? What does it represent for
The very first Accor hotel in Australia, Novotel Sydney on Darling
Harbour, opened in July 1991 almost 25 years ago. Since
then AccorHotels has grown rapidly through the acquisition of
management contracts and selective investment in specific hotel
projects and companies. Today, AccorHotels is Australia’s largest
hotel group, with over 200 hotels ranging from luxury to economy
located across prime city and regional destinations as well as the
country’s most popular resort locations. AccorHotels has a presence
in every state and territory with well-regarded brands such as Sofitel,
Pullman, MGallery, The Sebel, Quay West, Grand Mercure, Novotel,
Mercure and the ibis family of brands – ibis, ibis Styles and ibis
budget. A priority of AccorHotels in recent years has been to grow
our franchise hotel division. There are over 70 franchised hotels in the
AccorHotels network across Australia, with the company providing
international branding, distribution, loyalty programs and sales and
marketing support while the owners retain independent control of
their operations. In 2012, AccorHotels added properties in the Ayers
Rock Resort complex to our network, reflecting the company’s high
profile in Indigenous tourism. In 2014, AccorHotels added the famed
Crocodile Hotel and Cooinda Lodge in Australia’s Kakadu National
Park, in the Northern Territory to our iconic Australian offerings,
placing greater focus on Indigenous employment and engagement.
After almost 25 years of solid growth, AccorHotels is proud to be one
of the Australian tourism industry’s largest employers, providing not
only a job but career paths for more than 10,000 people.
20 Tourism & Gastronomy
• How do you adapt your value proposition to each market,
and more specifically to the Australian market? Is your French
expertise always a competitive advantage?
Being part of a global hotel group adds another dimension for
travellers, so that when they experience a Sofitel Luxury Hotel
in Australia, they can take comfort in the fact they can expect the
same high levels of service, design and product wherever they stay
with Sofitel in over 40 countries. Being French-owned we certainly
leverage our French heritage and take pride in the French elegance
that Sofitel offers. Daily rituals, from food and beverage to polishing
the Sofitel Name Plate each morning, and the evening candle lighting
ceremony are all a way of embracing our French traditions while
enhancing the guest experience.
• Considering the high level of competition in the tourism
industry as well as increasingly demanding guest expectations,
to what extent is the guest experience important to Accor’s
business model?
We have an obsessive approach to customer service and the
guest experience is absolutely at the core of our business. Warmly
welcoming people into our hotels is what gets us out of bed in the
morning and we continually strive to not only meet, but exceed
our guests’ expectations. . Many businesses talk about issues
such as emotional engagement, connectivity, social media and
individualisation, but AccorHotels is the first hotel group in Australia
to design an innovative programme which has already begun to
redefine hospitality service. We have recognised that the landscape
of customer behaviour has changed, and so we have empowered
our teams to have the confidence and ability to animate guest
engagement in a fundamentally different way. Our staff are committed
to making genuine and heartfelt connections with our guests and
this really sets us apart from our competitors. We also believe that
the guest experience starts before a guest arrives - at the dream,
plan and booking stages of a trip - which is why we have devoted
€225million into a global digital investment strategy. Through mobile
technology and new digital programs we can make real connections
with our guests before they set foot in our hotels. Loyalty is also an
important piece of this puzzle and we remain focused on making
our Loyalty guests’ experience exceptional across all stages of the
customer journey.
• Asia is one of the largest sources of Australia’s overseas
tourists. How does Accor manage to attract these tourists to
its hotels in Australia?
We are fortunate that our international brands have a large and
rapidly expanding presence in Asia, so leisure and business travellers
are already familiar with our brands. AccorHotels has been quick to
capitalise on the growth of inbound travel from China and India which
continue to be powerhouses, along with other Asian destinations
such as Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. In 2011, AccorHotels
Australia launched Optimum Service Standards program for Chinese
and Indian inbound travellers, and we now have over 50 hotels
accredited to the program. Optimum Service Standards are our way
of pulling out all the stops to ensure travellers from China and India
are provided with the best possible service and some comforts of
home. These services include Mandarin and Hindu speaking staff,
translation of hotel welcome kits, business cards, area maps and inroom menus, adaptor plugs and Chinese and Indian newspapers.
Hotel mini-bars also stock special teas and country-specific items are
available on the breakfast buffet. We have also introduced specific
training that ensures our staff are attuned to the sensitivities and
preferences of Chinese and Indian guests, so that they experience
Australia in the best way possible.
receive personal recognition, but take comfort in the fact they are
staying with brands they trust and love. In a tremendous achievement,
Le Club AccorHotels was recently awarded four prestigious awards
at the 2015 Annual Freddie Awards including; Program of the
Year in Middle East & Asia Pacific/Oceania and Europe & Africa. A
member vote, this accolade is testament to our hotel teams and
our inexorable focus on our customers and rewarding them for their
loyalty to AccorHotels.
• Accor recently announced a five-year, €225-million digital
transformation strategy. What is Accor’s vision regarding its
position in the next 10 years, globally and in Australia?
Further to this significant investment to transform our business in the
digital arena, we have also announced a new name and identity. With
our new name AccorHotels, the Group proudly upholds its hospitality
business. Our aim is to increase the visibility of AccorHotels, by
connecting it to its digital platform We also have
a new simple, striking and universal signature that encapsulates
the generosity and the very essence of hospitality. It is a promise
addressed to all our audiences - customers, employees and partners,
so that they feel expected, unique and privileged: Feel Welcome. To
keep pace with a rapidly-changing industry, we have set out plans
to address a myriad of challenges. Our new digital strategy will
see an expansion of our operational expertise to better anticipate
customers’ expectations and cement our leadership position over
the long term. The digital investment plan addresses the full range
of digital challenges and aims to make AccorHotels the leader of
a fast-changing industry, in Australia and across the globe. We are
proud of our rich French heritage which sets us apart from other hotel
groups. Our ambition is to become an even more widely recognised
hotel group through brands such as Sofitel which brings a French
elegance to the world through a collection of locations, offering
guests and partners personalised service with passion, performance
and excellence. •
• The number of Australian residents travelling internationally
has been growing at a rapid pace in recent years. How
successful is Le Club Accorhotels in increasing Australian
tourists’ loyalty at Accor’s hotels all over the world?
With over 19 million members worldwide, our Le Club AccorHotels
program has reinvented itself in the past two years by extending
more benefits, generosity and member events to different travellers.
Proudly, one in 20 Australian’s belong to an AccorHotels loyalty
program and hotels are reaping the benefits as loyalty members
stay twice as often and spend up to three times as much as other
travellers. Loyalty to AccorHotels extends well beyond our shores,
with Australian’s preferring to stay at our hotels overseas to not only
Tourism & Gastronomy
Attractiveness of the Australian TOurism &
Hospitality market for international companies
Vice President, Australasia
• PONANT opened a subsidiary in Australia just over one
year ago. Can you introduce us to your activities in Australia
and explain why you decided to expand to the Australian
Our team in Marseille foresaw the growth of cruising in this region
- latest statistics released by industry group CLIA confirm this
extraordinary growth. Discussing opportunities for expansion into
this part of the world with Sarina Bratton, regarded as the leader of
luxury expedition cruising in Australasia, convinced us that PONANT
had the right balance of modern fleet and expedition experience
which, when combined with French ambiance, provides a unique
and appealing cruise product for Australians.
Situated in North Sydney with offices opening in February 2014,
our Cruise Agency is a subsidiary of the French company PONANT,
Yacht Cruises & Expeditions, based in Marseille and founded in
1988. Our prime activity is to provide high quality personal service,
advice and assistance on our extensive global range of voyages
available to Australian & New Zealand travellers and travel agencies.
Our modern fleet of environmentally responsible small ships, explore
the globe from Arctic to Antarctic with a range of itineraries that
include Asia, South America, Russian Far East, the Mediterranean,
Baltic, Alaska, South Pacific, Caribbean and the sub Antarctic
islands. Some voyages are
relaxed cruises, others more
adventurous expeditions. The
choice is yours.
• PONANT offers travellers
the chance to “discover the
world with French chic and
elegance” and is the only
French company cruise in
the world. Why do you think a
cruise with the ‘French touch’
is so appealing?
Many cruise products are
indistinguishable from the next
with similar or interchangeable
destinations. PONANT takes a
fresh approach that sets us apart
from all other cruise products.
Our French touch: a PONANT
France’s great shipping tradition,
small ships of character flying
the French flag, French chefs for
22 Tourism & Gastronomy
inspired gastronomy accompanied by inclusive fine wines, French
beauty house treatments, French chic, style and luxury… this
results in a certain French art of living that permeates on board.
Our passengers truly enjoy the relaxed, informal elegance of the
This French Touch is reflected in our choice of partners, whose
expertise and passion for their field mirror our own quest for
excellence: interior design by Jean Philippe Nuel, beauty salons by
Sothy’s, fabrics by Pierre Frey, travel beauty from L’Occitane, the
fragrant aromas of the Palais des Thés, or the perfumed atmosphere
of Fragonard…
Lastly, the French Touch is quite simply that subtle blend of relaxed
elegance and conviviality, the “je ne sais quoi“ that our passengers
so appreciate, enhanced by the elegant authenticity of our journeys
and the personality of our yachts.
• PONANT prides itself on offering an authentic French culinary
experience while incorporating local products. Why do you
place so much emphasis on the on board food experience?
Our emphasis on food and wine embodies the French attitude to
living life well. Whether you are enjoying breakfast among friends
with the horizon as special guest, a sun-kissed lunch on one of
our outside decks, or a delicious
dinner in the elegant setting of
our gastronomic restaurants with
their intimate atmosphere, this is
an excellent opportunity to enjoy
fine food throughout your time
on board.
Every day our French chefs will
take you on an aromatic voyage
by selections of fine cheeses
carefully chosen by our master
pastries created by Lenôtre, all
accompanied by a selection of
fine wines and completed by a
superb “à la carte“ selection of
grands crus that our onboard
sommelier will be delighted to
talk to you about.
On board, our restaurants
serve an elegant, sophisticated
and refined cuisine in the finest
French gastronomic tradition.
We also propose barbecues as well as entertainment and themed
Our products are carefully selected, the service is elegant and
discreet, and our talented chefs showcase their expertise by
bringing out the very best in local flavours. You will enjoy our refined
and varied cuisine, accompanied by an inclusive selection of fine
wines presented by our expert sommeliers, in a setting that is
worthy of the top French restaurants.
• PONANT’s fleet consists of five intimate yacht-style vessels
offering a cruise experience without the crowds. Has this
point of difference been helpful in establishing your business
in Australia?
Our four ships are the most modern in the world, with just 122 to
132 cabins, 95% with private balcony, you are assured of intimate
travel more akin to a private mega yacht than typical large cruise
liner. Plus, for our more traditional passengers, our 3 masted sailing
yacht, Le Ponant, maintains an important link to the traditions of
cruising under sail with only 32 cabins.
The Australian market is highly competitive, so a point of difference
is important in order to stand out from the crowd. These ships
represent the very latest in modern luxury design and ecoresponsibility. Designed and built to operate in the icy waters of the
Arctic and Antarctica (PONANT is the largest carrier of expedition
guests to the polar regions), the ships are equally at home plying the
Amazon River or Chilean fjords, crossing the Pacific to visit Easter
Island or cruising the Greek islands.
As our ships are purpose designed for expeditions, as well as luxury,
they all feature a fleet of Zodiacs, perfect vessels for exploration.
Zodiacs provide an excellent mode of transport to quickly and
efficiently convey guests from ship to points of interest - perhaps for
snorkelling, to land on an iceberg or enter a flooded caldera.
The integrated marina platform at the back of each ship skims
the water, inviting you to swim, enjoy some water sports, board
Zodiacs… another point of difference really important for us.
Being small ships we are able to venture where large ships simply
cannot go. Transiting the iconic Corinth Canal being one example,
and a shallow draught allows the captain to get as close as possible
to beaches, islands and rivers for exceptional experiences and
moorings, and that’s what Australians want to experience!
Our Australian and New Zealand guests also appreciate the informal
atmosphere onboard, able to visit the bridge to see the operations
of the ship, speak with the captain and officers, discuss the finer
points of expedition itineraries with members of the expedition team
or the finer points of wine selection with the sommelier - this all adds
up to an involving and memorable travel experience.
• PONANT offers cruises in an extremely wide range of glorious
destinations such as polar regions in Antarctica and the Arctic,
cultural countries like Mediterranean and Asia, as well as
tropical paradises in the Caribbean, Australia or Pacific Islands
to name a few. What makes these cruises unique?
PONANT offers a selection of cruises to suit most tastes. Relaxing
cruises in popular areas that include the Mediterranean and Aegean,
Tourism & Gastronomy 23
Caribbean, Northern Europe and Alaska are balanced by a range
of expedition itineraries. These are more adventurous, yet no less
luxurious, exploring the far reaches of Kamchatka and Kuril Isles,
crossing the Northwest Passage, venturing far up the Amazon and
Orinoco rivers or, closer to home for Australian and New Zealand
travellers, the Spice Islands and a voyage to the sub Antarctic
Our small ships offer opportunity to moor closer to shore, access
shallower waters, launch the fleet of Zodiacs to transit ashore to
visit a remote village, explore the upper reaches of a small river or
beach on a coral cay.
Voyages designated as expeditions all have a professional team
of qualified marine biologists, historians, ethnologists, naturalists
or other voyage-appropriate lecturers onboard as part of the
Expedition Team to help enhance the experiences onboard and
ashore, providing insight into geological, cultural, fauna and flora
and historic aspects of each destination. On these expeditions, the
Captain may decide to change course to better follow a pod of
whales or hold position to view an active volcano.
On our luxury yacht cruises, in the Mediterranean for example,
there are guest lecturers onboard to provide interesting background
relevant to the points of interest along the way. On shore we work
with the best available guides with local knowledge to ensure the
best possible access to sites and insider information for stimulating
The uniqueness is a combination of French ambiance with an
outstanding fleet of ships and extensive range of itineraries.
• Which cruises/destinations appeal the most to Australians?
With one year of operations in Australia we have seen that there
has been great interest in PONANT voyages to the traditional
destinations of the Mediterranean and northern Europe - our Baltic
voyages are proving a popular way of seeing the highlights of St
Petersburg as we spend three days in port.
As the largest operator of Antarctic and Arctic cruises (we have
three ships positioned in Antarctica this coming season) we have
attracted a great deal of interest through our new Sydney office and
this, in turn, has helped generate interest in our voyage to the Arctic
and Alaska as well.
24 Tourism & Gastronomy
The visit of L’Austral to Australia in January and February this year
allowed us to present the ship to over two thousand travel agents
and potential clients - this has generated enormous reaction and
we have seen a big increase in requests for information across all
our voyages with numerous forward bookings for our next season
of visits to this part of the world late this year when we have Le
Soleal venturing through Asia, southward to Australia and New
Zealand with voyages that include New Guinea and the Solomon
Islands. For those who appreciate the concept of cruising ‘near to
home’ these voyages have sold very well. 2016 will see L’Austral in
the Pacific with voyages to Tahiti and Easter Island so we expect
that too will attract a lot of attention.
Le Ponant, our sailing ship, has been very popular just recently
with a themed golf cruise in the Caribbean as well as interest in her
classic voyages in the Mediterranean from Nice and Marseille.
In summary, the Mediterranean, polar voyages, Asia and Oceania
attract the most sales currently however the other destinations are
now attracting a lot of sales so we anticipate a wider spread of sales
during the latter part of 2015 and into 2016 as people learn of the
diverse range of destinations and itineraries available.
• How popular are PONANT’s themed cruises?
We have mentioned the sell-out golf cruise but we have other
themed voyages specifically designed to appeal to special interest
groups as well. These include special music themed voyages,
family voyages (where greater attention is focused on the needs
of younger voyagers) and, being French, of course we have
gastronomic cruises that are proving popular with Australians
inquisitive to expand their knowledge of food and rediscover ‘old
world’ wines. On these voyages, outstanding Michelin-starred
chefs and the rising stars of the future in French gastronomy will
take over L’Austral’s kitchens and share their talents during a weeklong cruise of culinary discoveries.
On the menu will be gala dinners and cooking demonstrations
presented by the chefs, who will reveal their little secrets. And
what would fine dining be without fine wines? The world’s best
sommeliers will also be conducting tastings and talks about wine
and whisky, and to choose just the right chic bottles and unexpected
discoveries to accompany each of your meals. •
2015 Food & Wine
Tour to France
Alsace & Les Vosges
18 - 29 September
Travel with a French Chef!
Tour Brochure or more information contact:
Chef Christophe or Josephine Gregoire
Le Très Bon Restaurant, 40 Malbon St Bungendore NSW l T 02 6238 0662 l [email protected] l
Attractiveness of the Australian TOurism &
Hospitality market for international companies
Chief Executive Officer
• Tourism and Transport Forum (TTF) is a nationally industry
group for tourism, transport, aviation and investment founded
in 1989. What achievements in enhancing tourism and
transport networks in Australia are you most proud of since
your inception?
TTF was established in 1989 to provide a strong voice for the tourism,
transport and aviation sectors across Australia. Since our inception
we have fought for government support for these vital industries –
which together form a major part of our national economic output
– and have argued successfully for a range of positive outcomes,
including the construction of a third runway at Sydney Airport and
new exhibition and convention spaces around Australia.
Recent achievements include our work to support the construction of
a new airport at Sydney’s Badgerys Creek and securing increases in
tourism marketing funding. We have also been successful in arguing
for visa reform for Chinese visitors and for investments in critical
infrastructure projects like Sydney’s CBD and South East Light Rail
Project and the new 66km Sydney Metro rapid rail links.
• Drawing on your extensive research and wealth of
experience, which Australian city would you view as the most
tourist-friendly? How do the infrastructure and transport
services elevate this city above others?
Australia offers a great and diverse experience for visitors, with each
major city excelling in different and unique ways.
For example, Brisbane has led the way on integrated ticketing, with
the introduction of a tourist smart card allowing for unlimited travel on
the public transport network for a set period as well as discounted
entry to local attractions.
In Sydney, construction is underway to create a new world-class
exhibition and convention precinct that – when completed in late
2016 – will offer some of the best facilities for business events in the
Melbourne has traditionally set the benchmark when it comes to
marketing, major events and cultural tourism, and has experienced
phenomenal visitor growth over the past few years, although other
States have since followed their lead.
Hobart has achieved international recognition since the opening of the
groundbreaking Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) and Tasmania
is currently leading the way in sustainable tourism development in
national parks.
In Perth, visitors can take in some of the finest sandy beaches in
the world or head south for whale watching and wine tours at the
Margaret River.
I could go on; however, I must point out that Australia is so much more
than our major cities! Our regional areas offer diverse and authentic
experiences that cater for all types of visitors. From Uluru and the
26 Tourism & Gastronomy
Outback to the beaches in Broome, there are fantastic places to visit
throughout the country. With so much to see, explore and discover, it
is little wonder so many people are keen to visit Australia.
• Your 2014 report Better Public Transport, Better Productivity
acknowledged the vital economic role that better transport
networks can play in a modern economy. What priorities do
you identify for making transport networks easier for tourists
in Australia?
A well-functioning transport system is not only vital for economic
productivity, it is also fundamental to the visitor experience.
Most tourists connect with a city through the public transport
network. A good experience helps our cities present themselves as
modern and well-functioning, which in turn helps attract more visitors.
Therefore, making it easier for tourists visiting Australia to use our
public transport networks should be a priority for all governments.
The first step has to be an acknowledgment from governments of
the importance of integrating transport and tourism planning. The
NSW and Queensland Governments are working on such a plan
(following calls from TTF) and it is encouraging to see other states
now adopting the same approach.
There is a range of other ways to make our transport networks
easier for tourists, including introducing special visitor-only transport
tickets that allow unlimited travel on public transport and access to
cultural institutions like museums and art galleries, and other visitor
We can also improve the transport networks for tourists in Australia by
introducing clearer wayfinding and signage. This is already happening
in Brisbane, where multi-lingual signage has been installed in areas
frequented regularly by tourists.
• Transport from the airport to the city is undoubtedly one
of the most important services for tourists. Do you think
the current airport transportation options in Australia are
adequate? How could they be improved?
Airports are often the first impression a visitor gets of a country, so it’s
vital the experience at our airport, and the onwards journey is made
as easy, pleasant and convenient as possible.
While our airports offer a high quality of customer service, it is
important this is supported by quality transport options to and from
the airport. This includes transport by car, taxi and in particular, rail
and bus. For example, Sydney and Brisbane airports have great
public transport connections, and a new link to Perth Airport will soon
commence construction.
In Sydney, the second airport at Badgerys Creek will be constructed
in the coming years, and it is important governments build
appropriate transport infrastructure to service this hub. While we are
seeing a substantial investment towards improving the surrounding
road network, effort needs to be made to connect the new airport
to the existing rail network. This will ensure easy access not only for
passengers, but also for the thousands of people who will work at
the airport.
• The number of international tourists coming to Australia is
increasing each year, heightening the need to equip cities with
the necessary infrastructure to accommodate for the increase
in tourists. In your opinion is enough progress being made to
cater for this influx?
As the Australian economy transitions away from manufacturing and
the end of the mining investment boom, industries like tourism have
the greatest potential to create prosperity and jobs for the future.
The rise of Asia also provides Australia with an enormous opportunity
in this space. With the number of Chinese citizens taking overseas
trips expected to break 100 million again this year, tourism can
convert these opportunities into income and jobs in every part of the
Given this, it is important for governments across Australia to invest in
demand-driven infrastructure to help support the industry, and attract
and accommodate more visitors.
We also need to make it easier to invest in Australia. All levels of
government need to cooperate and coordinate to reduce green and
red tape, and remove regulations that hinder, rather than promote
development, especially with regards to visitor accommodation.
With our network of national parks and diverse environments,
nature-based tourism is an area of great potential for Australia. By
allowing greater private investment in and around national parks we
could improve the visitor experience, attract more visitors and better
preserve our wonderful natural assets.
A key priority in growing our share of Chinese visitors is to make
visiting Australia easier and the visa system plays a big part in this.
Following calls from TTF, the Commonwealth Government recently
introduced three-year multiple-entry visas for Chinese visitors and
introduced online application forms. This is a positive step; however,
there is still room for improvement on the cost of visa application fees
for Chinese nationals.
With the rest of the world fighting hard to secure a greater share of
Asian and Chinese visitors, we must redouble our tourism marketing
efforts. Australia is a marvelous visitor destination, but it’s important
we are getting the word out through innovative and well-funded
marketing campaigns.
• How does Australia’s infrastructure and transport options
compare to the dynamic ‘global cities’ with enormous appeal
to tourists such as London, New York and Paris?
London, New York and Paris all have public transport systems that
are high-capacity, high-functioning and above all else, iconic. This
makes these destinations competitive, allowing visitors to move
around efficiently and experience more.
Australia has iconic public transport, whether it is Melbourne’s trams
or Sydney’s ferries, but there is still room to grow in terms of capacity
and accessibility.
For these reasons (as well as the economic imperative), we have
been vocal in calling for the introduction of integrated tourism and
transport strategies and for greater investment in Australia’s public
transport network. This includes better infrastructure, with rail lines to
major airports and visitor precincts, as well as services that are easily
accessed by visitors, including multi-lingual wayfinding and visitor
smart card ticketing.
• Asian tourists account for a large slice of tourism traffic to
Australia and their interest continues to grow. Can you identify
any initiatives you have taken or any specific infrastructure or
transportation projects which have may have better facilitated
travel between Asia and Australia?
On the raw numbers, Australia is seeing ever-increasing numbers
of Chinese visitors. In fact, every year we have more than 700,000
Chinese visitors comes to our shores.
However, while Australia has experienced strong visitation and
expenditure growth from China, other competitor destinations like
the United States and Canada have even higher rates of growth.
With more than 100 million Chinese nationals travelling internationally
in the last year, there is enormous potential for Australia to grow its
market share.
Tourism & Gastronomy 27
Attractiveness of the Australian TOurism &
Hospitality market for international companies
General Manager
• 1.2 million Australian tourists visited France last year.
Why is France such an attractive tourist destination for
Australians? How significant is their economic impact for
tourism operators in France?
Tourism has always been important to France, from the first Michelin
touring guides to the multimillion euro business it is today. France
has retained its place as the most popular country to visit in the
world, but attracting new markets is key to this. Australians are no
longer an emerging market; with over one million Australians visiting
each year, it is a very mature market. Despite being 16,000km away,
Australians are the ninth largest inbound travel market for France,
contributing almost 1 billion euros into the economy. Australians
are also incredibly valuable to the industry, because of their travel
patters; they tend to travel longer, spend more per day and visit in
the lower seasons, helping to sustain tens of thousands of small
tourism businesses across France.
• Atout France is the official French tourism development
agency aimed at promoting France to tourists around the
world. How do you promote France to Australians and is this
different from how you would endorse it to people of other
There are some market specifics to the Australian market, but
much of it is leveraging France’s traditional appeal of high quality
experiences, fashion and gastronomy. We have the scenery, but
on top of that we have unique product in wineries, in shopping and
in charming cities that other countries do not have. Some of the
unique aspects of the Australian market are things like apartment
hotels, which Australians use more than other nationalities, or car
leasing and rail pass options unavailable to European travellers. We
work with travel agents ad wholesalers to ensure Australian market
specifics are easy to sell to customers.
• Australians are extremely passionate about food and have
access to varied cuisines and high quality local products.
Is the French gastronomic experience a large reason for
Australian tourists visiting France?
The gastronomic experience is a large reason for anyone to
visit France. But the Australian explosion in culinary arts and
food experiences has catapulted France into pole position. The
appreciation not only of fine dining, but of the role food plays in
culture, which is now very central to Australian identity and this
translates into Australian’s travel expectations. France has a great
story to tell in sourcing fresh local produce and this also resonates
with Australians’ growing interest in sustainable food movement.
• France offers many food and wine experiences, historical
architecture, natural landscapes and cultural events. Do
Australian tourists tend to pursue one or many of these
experiences? What type of activities and destinations are
most appealing to Australian tourists?
What is particularly appreciated by French tourism providers about
the Australians visiting is that they will combine many different
aspects into one trip. So they will be some sightseeing of the major
sites, but also visits to museums, art galleries and churches. Then
the next day they may drive to the countryside, taking in a vineyard
and the the countryside before staying in a small gîte somewhere.
Many also like to anchor their visits around historical events, such
as the events on the Western Front 100 years ago to remember
their forefathers during a wider itinerary.
28 Tourism & Gastronomy
• Australia has one of the wealthiest populations in the world
and therefore represent an attractive market segment for
luxury hotels and boutique accommodation in France. How
does Atout France take advantage of this?
France invented the luxury palace style accommodation and recently
added a new category in its star rating system to officially recognise
this for the first time. It’s like the sixth star and it is reserved for
the truly luxurious hotels, châteaux and lodges that are found all
across France. It is not just opulence for the sake of it, but rather
the personal touch that guests demand. The attention to detail at
such palaces is their key selling point, ensuing that guests are left
wanting for nothing.
• Describe a typical travel itinerary for Australians who come
to France.
There is no typical Australian itinerary to France because there is
no typical Australian. The Australian market is a very sophisticated
market that knows France incredibly well. The repeat visits
by Australians is at an all-time high, so it is no longer the taster
tours of 20 years ago. Inevitably most trips will include Paris, but
Champagne, Burgundy and the Côte d’Azur are all popular. But this
year with the opening of a new high-speed rail line to the east of the
country, we are expecting many Aussies to jump on board the TGV
and head to Alsace. •
Tourism & Gastronomy 29
PANTONE Process Cyan C
Rail Europe is the leading distributor of European rail products worldwide.
Its range of products includes passes for single or multiple countries as
well as point-to-point tickets and reservations.
Types of rail products available :
- Point-to-point tickets: single or return ticket from one city to another
- Rail Passes: they offer unlimited travel in a specific region, during a set
time frame and are usually the best value for money if the itinerary includes
3 journeys or more
- Reservations: they guarantee the traveller a seat during their whole journey
and are mandatory on high speed, scenic and night trains
For the best pricing be sure to book in advance of your trip at
30 Tourism & Gastronomy
Attractiveness of the Australian TOurism &
Hospitality market for international companies
Manager Australasia
• Rail Europe is the Number 1 distributor of train tickets in
Europe. How does Rail Europe manage to differentiate itself
from its competitors?
Rail Europe provides a one stop shop for consumers to purchase all
European rail tickets from one website using our online distribution
system. It means there is no need to purchase from many different
carriers, you can purchase in AUD & you have access to our
Australian based customer service & ticketing team for any enquiries
before or after the purchasing process.
• There is a broad range of options to travel in Europe,
from buses to planes, with some highly competitive offers
from low-cost providers. What are the main advantages of
travelling by train?
Train travel allows you to travel from the middle of one city to the
next. Therefore eliminating the need for lengthy & expensive airport
transfers, security & check-in delays & waiting for your baggage.
You can relax on board, enjoy a glass of wine, watch the world pass
by your window or even read a book. You also don’t have the traffic
issues you might experience with buses & cars. Trains are how the
locals travel around Europe so why wouldn’t you do the same!
• Australian tourists are the second biggest buyers of Rail
Europe tickets after American tourists. What are the main
characteristics of Australian tourists that make them more
valuable compared to other tourists?
Australian Tourists are what we refer to as mature travelers. They
know what they want, they travel often & they travel independently.
They are always looking for new experiences and we at Rail Europe
love that. Train travel can offer Australian tourists the opportunity to
not only travel between major cities in Europe but also get off the
beaten track and visit places they might not otherwise see.
• Is there a typical rail itinerary in Europe for Australian
tourists? What are the most attractive destinations for these
Actually there is no real typical itinerary. That’s what is so special
about Australian tourists. They all want to try something different. In
saying that however our most popular service is definitely Eurostar
between Paris & London or V.V plus of course Australians have
always loved visiting France!
• What advice would you give to Australian tourists visiting
Europe by train? Are there any pitfalls to avoid?
Always book as far in advance as possible. Most European trains
works similarly to low cost airlines in that the further out you book
the cheaper the ticket will be. Trains usually open for reservations
between 90 -120 days in advance (except Eurostar which we open
a minimum of 6 months in advance). So we always recommend to
book as soon as you know your dates to ensure the best possible
• According to you, how will Australian tourism in Europe,
and more specifically in France, evolve over the next 10
We are already seeing Australian Tourism in Europe evolve and I
believe over the next 10 years it will continue along the same lines.
Australian travelers will become even more independent. They will
be looking for unique experiences & untouched destinations. This
means more Australians will travel to single countries in Europe for
longer periods of time. They will be looking to base themselves
somewhere rather than constantly moving around. So I believe we
will see more Australians discovering regional areas of France which
is absolutely perfect for train travel. Allowing people to travel with
ease from one city to the next is exactly what Rail Europe do best! •
Tourism & Gastronomy
New Grastronomy Trends
Head Chef
• You have been a constant presence in the Australian
restaurant scene for decades. How has the culinary
landscape in Australia developed in that time, and how do
you see it developing over the next 10 years?
The culinary landscape in Australia has changed dramatically in the
past 15 years. By the fact that Australians have been travelling a lot
overseas, discovered other cultures and cuisines, and come back
with an appetite of new culinary experiences.
This has also been impacted by our chefs and restaurateurs
gaining overseas experiences and returning with new learnings,
greater access to new and more ingredients and a knowledge and
discovery of how to use all this, paired with new kitchen technology.
Over the next 10 years, the same phenomenon will become bigger
and better for our level of cuisine.
• How strong is the Australian appetite for French food and
wine? In what ways have you taken advantage of this?
Australians have an appetite for every type of cuisine. French cuisine
is not the most popular in this country, as it is expensive to produce
but it is to the taste of our locals.
In our Bistro and our Hotel, we buy the best and freshest local
ingredients to provide the simplest and most palatable French
cuisine. We view this as an adaptation of French cuisine to the
desires and understanding of the Australian audience.
• Your feted restaurant Jacques Raymond opened in 1989
and operated for 24 years. Bistro Gitan and Hôtel Gitan
opened in 2011 and 2014 respectively both to great fanfare.
How have you managed to maintain the popularity of and
genuine interest in your dynamic businesses to retain loyal
patrons and attract new ones?
In our first restaurant, Jacques Reymond we were the first to
introduce the degustation menu, as well as the first to present a full
vegetarian offering. Along with this, was a continuous innovation
from new product discoveries from my suppliers, new techniques
and pushing myself and my team to do better each day.
Bistro and L’Hotel Gitan are both very popular venues as we provide
patrons French food adapted to the Australian palate at reasonable
prices and of high quality.
32 Tourism & Gastronomy
• The interest in fine dining in Australia has grown
exponentially, as illustrated by the plethora of cafes and bars
in hidden laneways in Melbourne and Sydney’s waterfront
venues. How do you think Australia’s thriving culinary scene
has impacted tourism?
You will always attract a higher quality of tourist if your country has a
reputation for the level of quality of its cuisine and wines. It attracts
tourists for a special trip just to dine out from the Asia Pacific region.
The recent support of Tourism Australia with the restaurant Australia
campaign has also been a great help, communicating the caliber
of hospitality we have here that is highly varied and world class.
This is further supported by the industry’s acceptance of using PR
companies (like my daughter’s) to promote globally what we are
• How important is maintaining an identity and reputation as
providing an authentic French food and service experience
in attracting local patrons and tourists to your restaurants?
We have adapted the authentic French food and service experience
to the local market and this has been one of the reasons of our
success as well as the quality and stability of our staff and the
partnership and huge energy of all the whole Reymond family.
• Coupled with a booming dining scene, Australia also
produces many high quality food products and an extensive
amount of wine. Do you think the prospect of sampling these
products and visiting the places they are made is alluring to
Yes, definitely, the better your product is, the more successful you’ll
become. •
Tourism & Gastronomy 33
New Grastronomy Trends
RRP: $28
Barrel fermented
in French Oak
and matured for
10 months using
partial malolactic
this Chardonnay
delivers apricots and
almond with ripe
peach characters
on the nose. This
is integrated nicely
with the natural
acidity of the wine and the
subtle notes of honey on the
palate. The 2013 vintage was
awarded gold at the Canberra
Small Vignerons Awards in
2014 and been selected for
the 2015 Winewise National
RRP: $12.99
The nose of
this wine is very
expressive, it gives
off a wide variety of
aromas, including
citrus, white peach,
acacia flowers,
and buttery notes.
The palate is fresh
and harmonious,
developing some
mid- palate weight
supported by
flavours ranging from lemon
zest to exotic fruits.
34 Tourism & Gastronomy
The Grand Sud range of
wines is sourced mainly
from vineyards in the
Languedoc region in
the south of France. It is
packaged in 1L bottles,
a size virtually unseen in
Australia until SVS began
to import them.
Sauvignon Blanc
RRP: $28
Our Sauvignon
Blanc has been
compared to the
best from the
Malborough region.
This vintage boasts
an aromatic blend of
ripe lime, strawberry
and passionfruit,
with a textural and
vibrant minerality to
the length and finish.
It recently claimed
top gold at the Gippsland
Wine Show in 2014.
RRP: $22.50
A stylish Bordeaux
blend of Sauvignon
Blanc and Semillon
so perfect with
Asian food, has
consistently been a
DiscoverVin success,
holding its own
against New Zealand
Sauvignon Blanc,
that is still the top
selling white wine
variety in Australia.
When reordering the Bouyère,
sommeliers tell of return
customers asking for “that
French white we had last time”.
Australian wine scene
“Boutique wines like ours are attracting attention as Australian
consumers become increasingly interested in provenance and
quality. The Australian scene was traditionally all about big
fruit, tannins, residual sugar and high alcohol. As our palates
get more sophisticated, people have started to appreciate the
subtleties of what they are drinking and how it complements
food. Australians are seeking out the complete food and wine
experience. Despite the glut of big name, cheap brands out
there, consumers are seeking the story behind the wine and
are more willing to pay a fair price.
As the Australian scene matures it’s interesting to compare
it to the French industry, which has had centuries to balance
its tightly controlled appellations. In our young industry, many
vineyards build on traditional knowledge with new and exciting
ideas. Introducing regulation might benefit the national scene
by increasing overall wine quality and assuring the industry’s
profitability. However the lack of rules encourages flexibility and
Kirsten Hardiker, Cannibal Creek
A Taste of France: New
discoveries from the
Old World
Australia has been producing wine from the early 1800s with the
first commercial vineyards using pre-Phyloxera vine stock from
Europe. Over the centuries it has developed globally popular
‘new world’ wine drinking styles that are born of Australia’s varied
climate and geography to become the world’s fourth largest
wine exporter. Even with its comparatively small population,
Australians have become the twelfth highest consumers of wine
in the world, and patriotically most of that is Australian wine.
In recent years, discerning consumers have re-embraced the
‘old world’ wines and followed the trend of looking to grape
varieties and regions less known. Boutique Australian importer
of French wines, DiscoverVin is riding that wave.
2015 (AUS)
RRP: $20.00
A French style of
rosé made from
Grenache, this is
benchmark rosé,
totally dry and light
in alcohol. A perfect
aperitif or with
summer salads.
RRP: $29.90
Made from Cinsaut
(40%), Grenache
(30%) and Shiraz
(30%), this rosé
has a quite leafy
Cabernet nose
which follows
through on the
palate. Nice
structure and
concentration. More
mineral than full-on
fruit flavours.
“We have done the hard work to select the best value wines
from the best producers and often independent producers. We
import French wines that we know Australian wine drinkers will
love. We focus on wines that offer authentic French flavour and
impressive quality, together with value for money and represent
them exclusively. In addition to atypical classic regions we
have sought some of the best and most representative wines
from areas known predominately to French connoisseurs such
as Jurançon, Madiran and Cahors. Other South West region
wines we carry include: Bergerac, Bordeaux, Fronton, Gaillac,
Monbazillac, Saint Mont, Pecharmont, Pacherenc Du Vic Bilh.”
“The devastating 2003 European heat wave has been
reported as the catalyst for the beginning of soaring
consumption of rosé in the Northern Hemisphere. The sunny
Australian climate combined with the global push of The Rosé
Revolution summer campaign has exponentially lifted rosé
production and consumption in Australia in recent years. The
invigorated demand for better quality, drier style rosés has
seen DiscoverVin’s rosés, Domaine de la Croix Irrésistible from
Provence and Château La Rayre from Bergerac consistently
among the company’s top 10 selling wines.”
Craig Underhill, Discover Vin
Craig Underhill, Discover Vin
RRP: $12.99
A single vineyard
wine from Victoria’s
Pyrenees wine
region, this shiraz
has a dark red
colour with a
complex nose of
black fruits (cherry,
blackberry) with
hints of tobacco and
spice. Aged in old
French oak barrels
for 12 months, the
tannins are well integrated and
silky smooth. Age for 5+ years.
Great match with Angus steak.
RRP: $12.99
This Shiraz has a
dark ruby red colour
with garnet hues.
His nose is rich with
warming notes of
dark plum, cassis
and blackcurrant.
The palate is
medium bodied style
with white pepper
and clove spices
along with dark
black fruits and a
short length.
From wine to cocktails:
MAiDENii vermouth
“In 2011, my encounter with
Shaun Byrne and Vernon Chalker
from Gin Palace gave rise to a
new project, MAiDENii vermouth.
This is the first vermouth to be
produced with native Australian
Vermouth is a fortified wine where
botanicals add to the complexity
of the flavour. Along with the
use of indigenous botanicals,
MAiDENii’s point of difference is
the care taken in the production
of the single vineyard base wine
from Heathcote - a high quality
wine region.
This new wave vermouth range is expressed in three different styles:
the Dry for mixing your Martini, but also proving very popular neat;
the Sweet as a mixer making your Negroni even more satisfying,
and finally the Classic designed to be consumed neat as you would
a sherry.
The renaissance of vermouth coincides also with the rise in interest
in the world of cocktails. And just as a chef will spend a lot of time
and energy researching the best produce, we now see bartenders
looking for the finest of ingredients.”
Gilles Lapalus, Awarded Best Aperitif in Cocktail Spirit 2015,
Tourism & Gastronomy 35
New Grastronomy Trends
Gastronomy in Australia has evolved significantly
over a short space of time. As recently as 30 years
ago, focus was purely on the local produce. With
such a diverse land and varied climate, came an
extensive range of excellent produce. Whether it
was lamb and beef from the cattle farms; seafood
from the exotic coastlines or vegetables and fruits
from the vast farmlands, the produce available in
Australia then (and still today) rivalled any from
around the world. This lead to produce being the
primary focus of Australian Cuisine at the time.
With the increase of immigration throughout
the 80’s and 90’s came an exposure to a
variety of cuisines and different flavours.
As the new ‘Aussies’ arrived in Australia,
they brought with them their flavours
of the world, which remained in their
hearts and evoked so many memories.
As these new flavours became more available,
gastronomy in Australia began to change, quickly
evolving into the sophisticated and world renowned
cuisine that it is today.
With a diverse culture and demographic
emerging in Australia, food and cuisine
from around the world became more
readily available as the importation of
products began occurring regularly.
Despite enthusiasm to replicate some of
these imported products locally, some
products simply could not (and still cannot)
be replicated which also drove increases in imports.
“A Taste of Paris” Force 5 Imports is a company driven by the
love a gourmet food.
We are dedicated to introducing and connecting French artisan
producers with Australian consumers. We import from France some
of the finest French gourmet food. Our selection is produced by
French artisans with amazing artistry!
Our Collections of products really add something special, unique
and elegant.
We are working very closely with our suppliers to reach this
exceptional quality. Only artisanal producers can offer you this level
of products in terms of quality and visual.
If the sound of gold-flecked truffle mustard, Gold Himalayan
Salt, Gold Sugar…Organic Black Truffle Mustard & Black Pepper
intrigues you, then you really need to take a look at A Taste of Paris’s
incredible range of gourmet French fine foods.
36 Tourism & Gastronomy
Tourism & Gastronomy 37
New Grastronomy Trends
Chief Judge
• Australia has a thriving restaurant scene with many existing
guides. How does Gault & Millau differentiate its guide from
existing Australian publications?
Gault&Millau restaurant guides are published in 11 countries, and
because each of these countries uses similar criteria in the reviewing
process, we are able to benchmark the performance of Australian
chefs and restaurants in relation to their global peers. No other
Australian restaurant review guide
can benchmark on a global scale
and we embrace our international
connections to promote the
Australian restaurants and chefs.
• Gault & Millau is one of the
most trusted brand names in
Europe with restaurant guides
produced in Germany, Italy
and the Netherlands to name
a few. How will Australia’s
culinary scene benefit from
your unique point of view and
hat rating enables chefs and
restaurateurs to travel the world
and be instantly recognized for
their culinary achievements. In Europe thousands of readers have
come to trust the Gault&Millau rating system over many years, and
now Australian restaurant goers can trust the same scale when
deciding where to dine.
38 Tourism & Gastronomy
• The first Gault & Millau Australian Restaurant Guide was
released in 2014. As new entrants into the Australian food
scene, how do you think French food and wine are perceived
in Australia?
Australian diners are sophisticated and well-traveled, and they are
regularly exposed to French (and French-influenced) cuisine and
wines – and given that Australia’s French restaurants and Frenchtrained chefs are so highly
patronised, our restaurant goers
clearly appreciate fine French
cooking. Interestingly there are
more French Restaurants in
Melbourne and Sydney today that
there were when we published
our fist guide (2014) in 2013.
• Armed with the most upto-date information obtained
through completing a wide
range of reviews of Australian
restaurants, can you identify
any current food trends in
Australia which are influenced
by France?
Like French chefs, Australian
chefs are working harder to
better understand both local
and international produce – and to take account of seasonality and
sustainability – which enables them to use the freshest produce,
make the most flavoursome and harmonious pairings and apply the
best techniques in order to present diners with outstanding fare.
It is true that consumers all over the world are becoming more aware
of sustainability and respect for produce than ever before, chefs
who share this interest are, in most cases, enjoying the commercial
• The guide currently reviews restaurants solely in Melbourne
and Sydney. Why were these two cities chosen and do you
anticipate other cities being included in future publications?
Melbourne and Sydney were chosen because they have the highest
densities of both population and restaurants within Australia.
However, we are keen to ‘spread our wings’ throughout Australia
in the coming years, so that we can showcase the unique culinary
contributions of other centres and regions.
• Upon completing your first ever Australian restaurant guide,
what differences did you discover between the Australian and
European culinary scenes?
In Europe, it has long been common for chefs to work and form solid
relationships with particular local producers. Australia’s top-rated
chefs are now beginning to embrace this practice, with the most
passionate chefs of smaller restaurants following suit.
Australia also needs to recognise that the goodwill generated by
talented front of house’ staff whom can make or break a restaurant.
In Europe such team members receive higher accolades and more
respect within the industry. •
Tourism & Gastronomy 39
• Australia’s International Tourism Industry, Australian Government Productivity Commission Research Paper, February 2015
• The changing face of Australian tourism, IBISWorld, December 18th, 2014
• Tourism Australia Annual Report 2013-2014
• Tourism Australia, France Market Profile, 2014
• Tourism Australia, New tourism campaign puts focus on food and wine experiences, May 2014
• Tourism Research Australia, State of the Industry 2014
• Tourism Research Australia, international visitors in Australia: December 2014 Quarterly Results of the International visitor
• Tourism in Australia Industry Report, IBISWorld Travelling well: Australia will remain a popular holiday destination, boosting
industry revenue, October 2014
• Building the Lucky Country #3: Positioning for prosperity? Catching the next wave, Deloitte, 2014
40 Tourism & Gastronomy
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