Thứ Sáu, 20 tháng 6, 2014

Canberra tourism ambassadors turn on charm in Singapore

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Generous hors d’oeuvre and Clonakilla’s 2012 shiraz viognier and 2011 riesling set the tone for the event, before presentations by Canberra Airport director Stephen Byron and VisitCanberra chief Ian Hill.  

Some might have found the statistics, gentle spin and superlatives overwhelming, but the audience lapped up the central message: Canberra is ready and wants Singaporean tourists now.

With the promise of direct international flights still to be realised, guests said states including Victoria and Western Australia had done a better job of capturing this market’s sizeable tourism spend.

But it’s not for want of trying.

Bacchanalia’s chefs come from years of training at Heston Blumenthal’s acclaimed restaurant The Fat Duck and provide a menu promising “thought-provoking dishes” influenced by flavours, techniques and premium ingredients from around the world.

Canberra’s guests enjoyed cauliflower gratin with white truffles and gremolata foam, followed by NSW pork with shaved red cabbage and apple.

A Scottish salmon and fennel salad came before a dessert of pineapple with vanilla syrup, pistachio crumble and ice-cream.

Conversation in plush red wing-back chairs centred on the ACT’s best business and tourism offerings, including local business owners and representatives from the National Museum of Australia, Canberra’s zoo and aquarium, local hotels and the ACT government.

Pialligo Estate director John Russell was the toast of the room after bringing 4 kilograms of smoked salmon from Canberra and providing 140 gift bags with locally produced sea salt and olive oil.

His company is making its pitch to local retailers to sell the high-end ingredients in Singapore.

“It’s an investment for Canberra and for our businesses,” he said.

“We’ve had very positive feedback from both commercial operations and retail, so it’s up there with the best stuff they’ve seen. If the possibility of direct flights becomes a reality, it would make our exports a lot more viable.”

As a parting gift before they share the pitch with early adopters, guests were presented with glossy promotional materials and Canberra-made Bison stone-wear.

The city has promised not to be a stranger; flights or no flights.

VisitCanberra representatives will seek to consolidate their efforts with multiple visits each year and advertising spends in the Singapore media.

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Canberra tourism ambassadors turn on charm in Singapore

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