The week of events commenced with a Diplomatic cocktail reception at Sydney’s Park Hyatt Hotel hosted by the Monaco based Ambassador to Australia, Her Excellency Catherine Fautrier. The event welcomed the new Sydney based, Honorary Consul for Monaco, Hadrien Bourely, a Monegasque citizen whose family dates back to the 16th Century in Monaco. Hadrien will work closely with the Honorary Consul in Melbourne, Andrew M. Cannon AM to further missions of Prince Albert II.
The local Monaco Tourist Bureau team joined forces with hotel representatives from Monte-Carlo SBM, Fairmont Monte-Carlo and Hotel Metropole participating in the French Travel Workshops in Sydney and Melbourne where they met with over 1,000 travel agents. Over the last few years the Monaco Tourist Bureau has managed to strengthen its presence in Australia and New Zealand, converting more and more day-trip leisure visitors into overnight stays and working to promote Monaco to the incentive travel industry. Australian and New Zealanders staying in Monaco make up less than 3% of the total international visitor numbers, however, they are ranked as theno. 8 nationality for Monaco just ahead of Belgium, a big achievement for a long haul destination.
The highlight of the week was the star studded “Soirée Monaco” Gala Dinner at Melbourne’s Sofitel On Collins, where Melbourne Society, senior representatives of the travel industry and other friends of Monaco were treated to a sumptuous menu created by Michelin starred Chef, Marcel Ravin of the acclaimed Blue Bay Restaurant at the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel and Resort. A never before screened 360 Virtual Reality experience surprized guests taking them all the way to Monaco with the help of the latest technology to experience paragliding, underwater diving, sightseeing and even driving a formula one car in the 2016 Grand Prix.
The delegation continued on to New Zealand for two events held at the Royal Yacht Squadron in Auckland. Lastly, the government delegation attended a charity event in Hobart for the inaugural International Antarctic Festival in Hobart, to support the Mawson’s Hut Foundation. Monaco has historic links with Sir Douglas Mawson’s famous expedition. Over 100 years ago, Monaco’s Oceanographic Institute, led by the great-great grandfather of Prince Albert II, Prince Albert I (1848-1922) donated scientific equipment for Mawson’s expedition.