Tourism Australia marketing reflecting demand for experiences as ‘sight seeing’ takes back seat

Tourism Australia’s marketing will continue to reflect the growing desire for visitors to seek out experiences, rather than simply visit sights and attractions, its chief marketing officer has said.

Speaking to Mumbrella at the launch of Tourism Australia’s indigenous tourism push, Lisa Ronson said tourists no longer want a superficial glimpse of a country but a more in-depth experience.  The marketing must reflect that trend, she said, as she highlighted the film which forms the backbone of the indigenous campaign.

The comments came as Tourism Australia managing director John O’Sullivan revealed the focus on Aboriginal tourism had originally been intended as only an “arrivals video” for tourists.

But the initiative snowballed once film directors Brendan Fletcher and Warwick Thornton came on board and began shooting the film.

Ronson described Australia’s indigenous product as a “competitive advantage” for the country, which taps into the growing appetite for experiences.

“People are seeking experiences more and more. It is a trend among international tourists,” she said. “They don’t want to just sight see anymore and skim across the the top of a country.

“They want to immerse themselves in the country. History and heritage and what we have got in terms of our indigenous experiences are really important to people.”

Ronson reiterated how the film, to be distributed internationally and domestically through state and territory tourism agencies, will aim to shed misconceptions that indigenous product can only be found in “hot, dry and dusty places”.

That impression, combined with the difficulty of finding product to book, worked against the Aboriginal communities, she said.

“But we have been working with distribution partners to get these experiences highlighted and showcased. We have the building blocks and now it’s about raising awareness and marketing the product,” Ronson said.

Meanwhile, Ronson confirmed TA’s next global marketing campaign, on Australia’s coastal areas, will be launched at the end of the year in conjunction with the December London premier of David Attenborough’s three-part documentary on the Great Barrier Reef.

TA helped fund the production costs of the documentary in what has been described as a “multi-platform” media project between Tourism Australia and Atlantic Productions.

Steve Jones


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