Geelong and The Bellarine showcased for Asian incentive planners

Thirteen top-level incentive planners from Southeast Asia experienced the best of Geelong and The Bellarine last week on an exclusive famil organised in partnership between Business Events Geelong, Melbourne Convention Bureau, Mornington Peninsula Tourism and AirAsia.

The agents arrived on AirAsia’s Kuala Lumpur to Avalon Airport Service in the evening where they were welcomed by Business Events Geelong Convention Bureau manager Mark Day and AirAsia representative Burt Niu.

The group then boarded a transfer to Melbourne where they spent the night before a day out at the Lexus Melbourne Cup Day at Flemington.

In the evening, the group headed out to Mornington Peninsula where they checked into Peppers Moonah Links. Highlights included a dip at the Peninsula Hot Springs, sight-seeing on the Arthurs Pass Eagle gondola, a site-visit of Jackalope Hotel and a sculpture tour of Point Leo Estate.

Next stop for the group was the Bellarine town of Queenscliff where they travelled 40 minutes aboard the Searoad Ferries service from Sorrento. In the afternoon, the group boarded the historic QTrain, a fine dining restaurant the travels on the historic Bellarine Railway where they were treated to a scenic ride and a sweet treat.

Later, the group checked in at Novotel Geelong, before heading over to GMHBA Stadium for a progressive dinner and a showcase of the mega venues many event spaces.

The next day the group arrived at Little Creatures for an exclusive craft beer tasting session and a tour of the unique venue, before taking to the skies for a scenic flight with Geelong Helicopters.

The flight landed at Jack Rabbit Vineyard where lunch was waiting for them on arrival. Afterwards, the group departed to Narana Aboriginal Cultural Centre where they learned more about the world’s oldest continuous culture.

The final dinner was held at ALMA, a contemporary Australian restaurant inspired by the flavours of South America.

Day says the initial feedback from the group has been extremely positive.

“I have heard from many of the participants that the famil has opened their eyes up to many possibilities and opportunities to host their events in our region,” he said.

“Hosting this familiarisation program is part of our strategy of ramping up our international presence. There is so much to discover in our region and we will continue to push the messaging that Geelong and The Bellarine are open for international incentive business.”

Melbourne Convention Bureau CEO Julia Swanson thanked all the partners for “turning on a spectacular famil”.

“By working together with our partners and industry we ensure we bring the city and regional Victoria together to keep our destination’s offering constantly evolving and adapting to latest trends and client’s requirements,” she said.

Matana Thienthong, regional commercial head at AirAsia, said they were committed to enhancing the success of our Melbourne Avalon services and supporting local tourism growth in the region.

“Operating out of Avalon Airport offers our guests a number of advantages including a quick and easy drive from the centre of Melbourne on uncongested and toll-free roads, quick and easy check-in and security processes and an international terminal currently dedicated solely to AirAsia guests,” said Thienthong.

“We were proud to be able to support the local operators for this famil and pleased to see the program is contributing to raising awareness of the wider Geelong area.”