Spending $800k on an event sounds like a lot of money. micenet asked Tourism Australia whether its sponsorship of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants was worth it.

As part of Tourism Australia’s ongoing Restaurant Australia campaign activity, its investment in Restaurant Australia for 2016-17 included an $800,000 contribution to support activity surrounding The World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards, held in Melbourne from April 1 to 8.
TA says winning the right to host such a prestigious event as The World’s 50 Best Restaurants was a major tourism coup for Australia. There was hot competition around the world to host the event, which had been held in London for the past 14 years.
A total of 250 international chefs and media attended the official event program of 11 events. To capitalise on the opportunity, 160 individual famils were organised by Tourism Australia over the period, covering all states and territories to showcase Australia’s food and wine tourism experiences.
“Our aim was that all visiting chefs, influencers and media would depart Australia as lifelong advocates for the brand and the destination,” TA said.
Amongst attendees were 47 chefs from the 50 World’s Best Restaurants awards 2017 list, plus an additional 44 guests and special chef award winners, 26 academy chairs, 75 international media, over 50+ domestic media and hundreds of local industry.
The event also engages an even wider network of key media, ambassadors, thought leaders and industry influencers.
Tourism Australia partnered with Visit Victoria, along with Wine Australia, Etihad, QT Hotels, Grand Hyatt Melbourne and William Reed (the event owners) for World’s 50 Best Restaurants.
Wine Australia was the Official Wine Partner of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, sponsoring all the table wines (non-sparkling) for official events in the program. The wine presented throughout the program was selected by a panel of experts which include Masters of Wine, Master Sommeliers and some of Australia’s highly respected wine experts, influencers and commentators. Wine Australia also hosted 50 of the world’s best sommeliers to discover Australia’s wine offering.
Tourism Australia managed the event production companies for the Chefs’ Feast in St Kilda as well as The Great Aussie Brunch.
Fairfax Events managed the event production for the Awards Ceremony on behalf of William Reed Business Media.

International exposure

“The exposure for Australia through hosting the awards has been phenomenal. The results so far have exceeded expectations with the project already generating more than 4000 media articles with an audience reach of 3.9 billion and an equivalent advertising value of over $42 million.
“Restaurants in Victoria also saw immediate and significant results, with a 50 per cent spike in restaurant bookings for the week of the event program, according to Dimmi. Brae Restaurant, who entered The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list at #44, received over 16,000 website views in the hours after the awards, an increase of 3900 per cent from a daily average of 400 views.”
“Hosting the awards has provided an opportunity to continue to tell the Restaurant Australia story to the world as well as another opportunity to bring many of the world’s most influential food and wine people to Australia to inspire, inform and advocate about Australia’s food and wine experiences.”
“When we launched Restaurant Australia back in 2014, we set the very specific target of increasing international visitor spend on food and wine in Australia by $500 million by December 2015. Pleasingly, we exceeded the initial target with six months to spare. Since the launch of the Restaurant Australia campaign, incremental spending on food and wine by international visitors in Australia has increased by more than $1.2 billion or 29 per cent.
“We’ve also seen significant improvements in Australia’s perception as a food and wine destination, thanks to the first two phases of the Restaurant Australia campaign, with Australia ranking #6 (up from #10 prior to the campaign) for food and wine globally among those who hadn’t travelled to Australia before.
“From the perspective of hosting The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2017 Awards we see it as an opportunity to continue our Restaurant Australia campaign story through the visiting chefs, influencers and media sharing their collective experiences of our food and wine offering with their huge followings around the world.”

Why Melbourne

For the week-long World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards program, a number of locations in Australia were considered before Melbourne was selected to host the core event program. TA said this was because Melbourne is home to some of Australia’s best food and wine experiences, is highly practiced at delivering world-class food and wine events, and has the necessary infrastructure to host the awards. The city is also home to Ben Shewry’s Attica, which has been on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list for a number of years.
Melbourne is also home to some of the country’s best bars, cafes and restaurants, and just a short distance to some of the country’s best wine regions and regional restaurants.
Melbourne’s love of food and festivals is showcased each year with the international Melbourne Food and Wine Festival. The festival is one of the largest of its kind in the world with more than 200 events attracting around 300,000 people annually.
TA said it was up to the organisers, William Reed Media, on whether Australia would have the opportunity to host the event again.

World’s 50 Best Restaurant events

#50BestTalks live theatre events in Sydney and Melbourne featuring some of the world’s best chefs
The Chefs’ Feast which saw some of Australia’s best chefs cook for the top 50 chefs and influencers
Melbourne Welcome Event featuring some of Melbourne’s top chefs who showcased iconic dishes from Melbourne’s precincts to visiting international media
Tourism Australia and The World’s 50 Best Restaurants media conference and a ‘meet the chefs’ interview session
The World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards ceremony
The Academy Chair Lunch at Shannon Bennett’s flagship restaurant Vue de monde
The Great Aussie Brunch – All-Star Yum Cha showcasing Melbourne’s best Asian restaurants
The Academy Escape, a two-day itinerary for the academy chairs, taking in the best of South Australia
Melbourne Food and Wine Festival invited eight chefs whose restaurants have featured on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list to host their signature MasterClass series