Regional Highlight

Chef Exchange serves up a winning recipe to entice Chinese tourists

A South Australian coalition has teamed up to help Chinese tourists identify the Murraylands and Riverland as an attractive foodie destination, using everything from a high-profile TV show to a social media campaign, to two lucky prize winners visiting the region from China.

The second season of Chef Exchange, which aired in China earlier this year, saw sister city celebrity chefs Jock Zonfrillo from Adelaide and Qu Jianmin from Qingdao team up to explore regional produce and create a meal from different culinary areas of South Australia.

With the food show’s new season geared more heavily towards wine, Chef Exchange featured the Murray River and an opportunity for two lucky viewers to win a luxurious five-day trip to experience the best food, wine and experiences the region has to offer.

“China is the fastest growing wine and tourism market,” says Danny MacMahon, Chief Executive of Byrne Vineyards, adding “the Chef Exchange program has helped us to gain some incredible exposure in that respect.”

Byrne Vineyards has been in the wine industry for 50 years. With three generations of family rooted firmly in the Riverland business, 2018 has seen significant activity in their international strategies, particularly where the Chinese market is concerned.

“We were pleased to provide the competition winners with a wine tasting and campfire barbecue, along with accommodation at our Luxe Eco Suites at Scotts Creek,” Danny says.

In early October, the winners enjoyed their night of luxurious glamping, with designer furnishings, all mod-cons and uninterrupted views of the Murray River, bushland, and wetlands.

The visitors were accompanied by a South Australian film crew, and videos of their experience are set to bolster what was already a significant Chinese social media following.

“It’s a great way to promote the region directly to the Chinese consumer, emphasising the quality of the region and our unique environment.” Danny says.

Having this Murraylands and Riverland content so widely distributed and so well-received in the China market has developed our brand trust and awareness.

In 2017, a record 60,000 Chinese visitors spent a whopping $389 million in South Australia. With China Southern Airlines flying into Adelaide five times a week from the end of October 2018, access is getting even easier.

Oli Madgett from 57 Films was one of the team accompanying the lucky winners. He has some insights to share with tourism operators looking to attract Chinese tourists – cuisine and luxury accommodation aside.

For these guests in particular, capturing sharable imagery and seeing stars came a close second to the peaceful feeling of tranquility in nature while floating on the Murray River with not another person in sight.

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“The Murraylands and Riverland boast landscapes and experiences that are completely mind-blowing to people from a big bustling city”

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