Tourism Australia has ambitious targets for visitor growth and aims to grow tourism expenditure. For example, for a market like Hong Kong the goal is 50 per cent growth to A$1.5 billion (US$1.09 billion) and for China, 103 per cent growth to A$13 billion (US$9.43 billion) by 2020.
Since launching the ‘There’s nothing like Australia’ campaign in 2010, Tourism Australia’s focus has been on highlighting (with a welcoming spirit) the country’s uniqueness as a destination.
“This continues to be the overarching theme,” Andrew Hogg, regional general manager of Tourism Australia told Campaign Asia-Pacific. In 2014, the “Restaurant Australia” campaign furthered this idea and focused on Australia’s culinary side.
“What we found in our consumer insights was that prior to visiting Australia, tourists rated destinations like Italy and France as top countries for culinary experiences,” said Hogg. “But after visiting, tourists rated Australia among the top countries. This was something we could work with.”
According to Tourism Australia, the Restaurant Australia campaign resulted in the global increased perception of Australia having great food and wine by over 21 per cent over the past 12 months.
Hogg introduced Tourism Australia’s upcoming aquatic and coastal focus in Hong Kong this week. He joined Tourism Australia in June as regional general manager of Greater China and is based in Shanghai. Prior to that, Hogg had a 25 year career with Qantas Airways, where he most recently held the position of general manager for China.
Citing Tourism Australia’s consumer research, Hogg said Australia is the world’s highest ranking destination when it comes to world class beauty and natural environments.
“This is why we will be evolving the campaign in 2016 to unveil the aquatic and coastal experiences on offer—from fishing and beach walks to eating our amazing seafood. These experiences are part of the way we live and something we want to share with the rest of the world.”
The challenge for Australian tourism has been “distance and conversion”. Travelers perceive Australia as being far away and feel that they need a lot of time to explore the country.
“Travelers think they need at least two weeks to see Australia, which isn’t true, but it keeps people away,” said Hogg. “We’ve focused a lot on educating markets on the accessibility and ease in which they can experience Australia.”
This has been done mainly on digital and social channels and through Tourism Australia’s strategic partnerships with tourism stakeholders ranging from airlines to online travel agencies to other local Australian operators. The restaurant campaign also has an online home.
However, once tourists have discovered Australia, distance becomes less of an issue, said Hogg.
“Hong Kongers love Australia. With a repeat visitation rate of 66 per cent, one visit is not enough, and Hong Kongers are going back to discover the next layer of experiences on offer,” said Hogg.
“Through increasing our global marketing activities in the Hong Kong and China markets we are aiming to convert the enormous appeal for Australia into more visitors enjoying longer and more valuable stays,” Hogg added.
Data from Tourism Research:
- In March 2015, Hong Kong was Australia’s 10th largest inbound market for visitor arrivals and 9th largest market for total visitor expenditure.
- Hong Kong visitor arrivals are over 200,000 per annum, growing 3 per cent in the past year to March 2015.
- Total spend from Hong Kong visitors is up 20 per cent at A$1 billion (US$720 million).
- Peak booking periods for Hong Kong travellers are November-December and June-July.
- Peak travel periods are Chinese New Year, July and December.
- 66 per cent of holiday makers are repeat visitors, according to research for the past 12 months (March 2014 to March 2015).
- ‘Visiting friends and relatives’ accounts for 27 per cent of Hong Kong visitors to Australia. Of this group, 84 per cent become repeat visitors (March 2014-March 2015).
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