Australian tourism campaign attracts commercial partners

By: Chris Smith


Tourism Australia’s new global destination campaign has attracted a record number of commercial partners as the industry looks to reduce

Tourism Australia’s new global destination campaign has attracted a record number of commercial partners as the industry looks to reduce the impact of the current global downturn on Australian tourism.

Tourism Australia Managing Director, Geoff Buckley, says more than 120 co-operative partners are on-board with us in around 160 separate marketing activities across 20 countries – with many of the partners coming on board in the past two months.

"This is more partners than we have had for any other campaign and is testimony to the value of this unique opportunity to market Australia alongside an epic movie," Buckley says.

"While it is still early days for the campaign in most markets, the activities generated by these partnerships are already helping to drive bookings for Australia. This is vital if we are to avoid losing market share in the current global economic climate.

"In the UK, the partnership with Emirates achieved double digit growth in their business to Australia during January while STA Travel reported increases in both air and ground travel sales during December 2008 compared to the previous year.

"Travel agents in Hong Kong promoting adventure and romance-themed package holidays around the movie campaign have reported a 10 percent increase in sales while in Singapore a group of travel agents have received around 900 bookings for Australia in the short time that the campaign has been running there.

"These are just a few early examples of the business created by the movie and the new
campaign, which is very encouraging in light of current global economic factors.

"We will not be able to stop the global crisis impacting tourism as so much of our success is reliant on international consumer confidence. But our marketing can help keep demand stable and give our industry partners a platform from which to close the deal," Buckley says.

Tourism Australia’s two pronged campaign – which incorporates the Baz Luhrmann produced ‘Come Walkabout’ advertising campaign as well as a raft of marketing activities directly linked to the film Australia – has now rolled out across 20 markets.

Campaign partners include airlines, travel agents, wholesalers and affinity partners.
Australia has already grossed more than US$200 million at the global box office and is the second highest grossing movie at the Australian box office, after Crocodile Dundee.

Buckley says that while the success of the new campaign did not depend on the box office success of the movie, the fact that cinemagoers around the world were embracing the film was a bonus.

"To date the movie has achieved ticket sales of around 23 million and 72 million people have been exposed to the tourism campaign," Buckley claims.

"This is a massive amount of exposure for Australia.

"On top of this Tourism Australia’s global PR program has generated almost 1,300 media reports and articles published in media outlets with a combined global circulation of more than 948 million people.

"The early results of our research also tell us that our target travellers, who have seen the movie and the campaign, are more serious about actually visiting Australia.

"There has been a sharp rise in consumer intention to visit Australia in the next 12 months - increasing by 62 percent when they see the ‘Come Walkabout’ advertising campaign and 87 percent when people see the advertising and the film together.

"The number of people seeking holiday information on Australia has also jumped, with a 90 percent increase in the number of visitors to Australia.com – the primary call to action for the campaign – in the past three months.

"While it will be some time before we see the full flow-on effects of the campaign, it is encouraging that our global activities are helping to ensure that travellers are still thinking about Australia as a place to next visit," Buckley says.

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