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Mice Asia Net : October 2008
news asian buyers experience south australia More than 50 international and interstate MiCe planners recently converged on South australia for the annual Qantas Destination Sa showcase, including a handful from asia. O rganised by the Adelaide Convention & Tourism Authority (ACTA), the event is designed to entice future business events to South Australia, and saw hosted buyers attend from Australia, Singapore, China and New Zealand. During the four-day program event buyers had the opportunity to experience South Australian product first hand, and to meet face-to- face with an array of local business tourism operators. ACTA director of sales and marketing, Martin Radcliffe, was very upbeat about the impact of this year’s event in terms of new business for the state. “Destination SA 2008 has attracted an exceptional quality of event buyer, and most pleasingly has seen a record number of international visitors,” he said. “Judging from early feedback both buyers and exhibitors were extremely satisfied with their experience. Over the last four years, Destination SA has generated almost 50 business events to South Australia. Early feedback from buyers indicates that this year’s showcase looks set to confirm up to eight events in the coming months, with a further 15 strong opportunities now in our sales pipeline.” Asian guests attending Destination SA included Dorothy Hu (Wyeth Pharmaceutical Shanghai); Priscilla Sun (Astra Zeneca Shanghai); Valerie Yee (Dynasty Travel Singapore); and, Felicia Teng (The Meetings Lab Singapore). The guests spent the days leading up to the show enjoying South Australian familiarisation experiences, hosted by ACTA account manager, Sidd Ketkar, and Adelaide City Councillor and managing director of Encounter Australia, Frances Wong. Their familiarisation of Adelaide and South Australia commenced with a traditional Aboriginal Kaurna welcome at the National Aboriginal Museum, ‘Tandanya’, which included a unique bush tucker morning tea. This was then followed by a mini wine-tasting class at the National Wine Centre where the delegates had the opportunity to taste local South Australian wines accompanied by a gourmet luncheon. After lunch, the delegates had free time to explore Adelaide before rejoining the group for an eight-course degustation dinner at Windy 12 miceAsia.net Point Restaurant, located in the picturesque Adelaide Hills. “This venue (Windy Point Restaurant) provided the best dinner, accompanied by the finest wine and the best view I have ever experienced in any city around the world,” said Valerie Yee of Dynasty Travel Singapore. The following morning delegates were treated to a hot breakfast among the wildlife at the Adelaide Zoo. This was followed by a market tour hosted by Adelaide’s award-winning chef Cheong Liew. With fresh produce in the bag, the delegates where whisked away to Mount Lofty House in the Adelaide hills for a personalised cooking class and wine experience led by Helen Page’s Fun Food Focus and Lane’s Winery. After experiencing yet another sumptuous meal and again experiencing first-hand just why South Australia leads the world with its wine, the delegates travelled to King William Road to undertake some serious retail therapy in Adelaide’s premier fashion precinct. In business sessions, each buyer conducted up to 17 face-to-face appointments with exhibiting ACTA members, taking the opportunity to learn more about the products, venues and services available in South Australia. Adelaide City Councillor and Asian market specialist and managing director of local DMC Encounter Australia, Francis Wong said she was delighted to share her love of Adelaide and South Australia with the international hosted buyers. “The quality and professionalism of the buyers is a real asset for the future development of incentive groups from Asia,” she said. “It is a wonderful investment of time and money. Congratulations to ACTA and the team.” Giselle Baker, meetings buyer with Pharmaceutical giant Wyeth was particularly taken with her experience. “From the moment I arrived in Adelaide I was amazed at the beauty and grace of such a wonderful city,” she said. “I have been able to take away so much valuable information and it will certainly assist me with my future conference planning.” ABOVE: Windy Point chef (left) with Priscilla Sun and Valerie Yee (centre).