Meat pie off menu, says Rudd

Written By miftah nugraha on Selasa, 16 April 2013 | 19.55

Former PM Kevin Rudd had plenty of advice for Tasmanian tourism chiefs today on the burgeoning Chinese market. Picture: LEIGH WINBURN

LEARN Chinese and take the meat pies off the menu -- that's the message from Sinophile Labor MP Kevin Rudd to Tasmania's tourism chiefs.

Addressing the Tourism Industry Council Tasmania meeting in Hobart today, Mr Rudd gave his perspective on ways the industry might cash in as the burgeoning Chinese middle class catches the travel bug.

Mr Rudd said he had never worked in the tourism industry and his advice was in the form of friendly observations to boost the industry in Tasmania.

Unspoiled nature, seafood and high-standard accommodation were key strengths Tasmania must use to its advantage he said.

"Tasmania is potentially a very good and great brand in China," he said.

"When they think of a place like this, what are its three essential assets? It's clean, it's green and it's blue -- there's a blue ocean out there and the skies are also blue.

"If you're living in downtown Beijing, you might have seen the news in the last 12 months that it hasn't been the cleanest of environmental experiences.

"In fact, that can be said of most if not all of China's major cities.

"Therefore the intrinsic appeal of being able to get out and experience a clean environment with decent first-class accommodation and being able to experience something of the natural environment is frankly up there at the top of the pops."

But some of the attractions that appealed to domestic tourists would not be a Chinese tourist's cup of tea.

"I wouldn't seek to advertise Tasmania's colonial architectural heritage. People like us would enjoy that (but) I don't think the Chinese would give a bugger about it to be honest," the former prime minister said.

"If you think mum's home-baked meat pie is the way through, think again. It does not translate, it does not compute."

He said lashings of Tasmania's famous seafood, access to fast broadband and improving language skills among hospitality workers were further keys to success in the Chinese market.

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