A tourism strategy to encourage more Chinese visitors to the region has received a boost with Mandarin speaking Brighton Liu linking up with Silver Compass Tours and Orange 360.
The Sydney based public relations expert spent last weekend visiting the city's cellar doors, restaurants and cafes, for a taste of what he'll be selling, to both Chinese residents living in Australia and those visiting from home.
He said many of the Chinese expats who have lived in Australia for some time have visited the most famous tourist destinations and now want trips to lesser known places.
"If you've been here for a while you want to experience more outside the places which are well developed commercially and often very busy with other tourists," he said.
"Orange has every capacity to show what Australia looks like outside the cities and it's easily accessible."
It's not all about the wineries. It's about the restaurants, the cafes - it's about every business working together to provide an experience.Brighton Liu
Mr Liu said after stepping off the train from Sydney on Friday he visited several wineries that afternoon followed by a "fancy dinner" at Charred Restaurant and Bar.
On Saturday, Kelly Picarazzi of Silver Compass introduced Mr Liu to producers at the farmers market and to vignerons James Sweetapple at Cargo Road Wines and Justin Byrne at Strawhouse Wines.
The cellar door tour also took in Philip Shaw Wines, Word of Mouth Wines and Ross Hill Wines.
Mr Liu said when taking in the view at Racine Restaurant, where Mr Byrne showed off some Shiraz grapes from the La Colline vineyards, he "just didn't want to leave."
The 2019 strategy to capture the Chinese market will see Mr Liu return to the region for Orange FOOD Week, where he will accompany the FOOD train passengers on their tour.
He said a government report for March 2019, which found Chinese visitors presented "tremendous potential for Australian inbound tourism over the next 10 years" revealed Chinese tourists are attracted by train tourism packages, and he said "Chinese love food".
"It's not all about the wineries," he said. "It's about the restaurants, the cafes - it's about every business working together to provide an experience."
Mr Liu will also work with Orange tourism groups to orchestrate a visit from "Key Opinion Leaders" from China to the region in May.
He said the "influences" will come from a variety of backgrounds, including experts in wine, tourism and the food industries.
China is now Australia’s largest inbound tourism market both in volume and spend terms.
Tourism Research Australia forecast Chinese visitor numbers in Australia to reach 3.9 million in 2026–27 – an average annual growth rate of 11.9 per cent over the next 10 years .
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