Tourism Australia managing director Andrew McEvoy told media at ATE in Perth yesterday that the plan had been called ambitious, which in media terms can signify unachievable. It aims to double overnight visitor
expenditure to up to AUD140 billion by the end of the decade.
“When we did the work on 2020 we knew that we would need 58% more international air access to our country and 25% more domestic feeds flying around our country,” McEvoy said.
The couple of years that have passed since initial work on the plan have seen 15% growth in international air capacity – representing 7.5% per year, and well ahead of what Australia needed under the plan.
“Similarly domestically we have had 8% growth or 4 per cent per annum when we needed only 2%.”
Growth was being driven mainly by Chinese and Middle East carriers and the low-cost revolution, McEvoy noted.
The initial 2020 Tourism Industry Potential report appeared in November 2010.
McEvoy said tourism growth in Australia wasn’t just from China. Other Asian countries were growing and Western markets were still delivering two million tourists and 10 billion spending to Australia. There was light at the end of the tunnel for Europe. Germany was good; Ireland was doing well (very keen on working holidays in Australia) but Britain was struggling.
Capital cities in Australia would need 40,000 new beds over the next decade. Perth was running at 85% occupancy and high occupancies and good yields were typical in other capitals. AUD42 billion of tourism infrastructure was in the pipeline and coming on line. McEvoy said Australia was not a mass-volume tourist destination – only 48th in the world in terms of arrivals, but moved up rapidly, to seventh position, in terms of receipts.
Tourism Australia’s executive general manager of consumer marketing, Nick Baker, outlined some of the strides Australia is making in the social media field. “We have 3 million fans on Facebook – the largest of any NTO in the world by a long way.”
The latest version of Tourism Australia’s There’s nothing like Australia global campaign has got off to an impressive start with the signature ad receiving more than eight million views globally since being unveiled.
The ad has been viewed 175,000 times on YouTube, with a further 240,000 views from Tourism Australia’s website, Australia.com.
The interactive tablet application part of Tourism Australia’s commitment to utilising cutting edge technology to tell Australia’s story has also been downloaded more than 6000 times.
The short film is proving a massive hit in China, Australia’s fastest growing and most valuable overseas market and the venue for the campaign’s launch earlier this month, with more than 8.3 million views of the short film so far on popular Chinese digital platforms, including Tudou, Youku, Banma and Baidu.
McEvoy believes the strategy of using digital advocacy to sell Australia has been critical to the campaign’s rapid and widespread take-up.
“Advocacy has quickly become deeply integrated in Tourism Australia’s marketing activities, and is at the heart of the latest phase of our There’s nothing like Australia campaign, where we have embraced social media platforms and actively encouraged people to share their passion for Australia with their own networks.
McEvoy said that the response to the campaign from the Australian tourism industry had been equally impressive, with nearly 100 Australian tourism operators having already approached Tourism Australia seeking opportunities to get involved in the next phase of the campaign.
As well as partnership opportunities, the national tourism agency is offering Australian operators a range of marketing tools to align existing marketing activities with the campaign, which will be active in at least 18 of Tourism Australia’s key markets by the end of 2012.
A range of free tools and resources will be available to operators from 1 July, including campaign logos, screensavers, digital postcards, a content widget, newsletters and access to an image gallery of images and footage.
McEvoy acknowledged the important role the State and Territory Tourism Organisations (STOs) have played in helping to develop the campaign, which he believes is a critical element in driving demand for Australia, and achieving the industry Tourism 2020 goal.
The A$250 million campaign, in partnership with industry, has begun rolling out in China, the United Kingdom, the United States and Australia initially and will be active in 18 of Tourism Australia’s key markets by the end of 2012. Within the first week of the domestic rollout, more than five million Australians saw the ad on television.
Written by : Peter Needham