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Tourism Australia’s chief marketing officer reveals Holiday Here This Year campaign success

Tourism Australia’s domestic strategy is to get Australians to travel like international tourists do, by seeing more, doing more, travelling for longer and spending more, according to Tourism Australia’s Regional Tourism Organisation quarterly survey.

And its ‘Holiday Here This Year’ campaign has so far done exactly that, according to chief marketing officer, Susan Coghill, who told Mumbrella it has assisted in the recovery of the domestic tourism industry post the peak of the COVID-19 outbreak.

“We had an amazing result with the ‘Holiday Here This Year’ campaign. We had an extremely positive reaction from it. The PR that we got out of it was fantastic. Going back to the launch we had 10 million in EAV (Equivalent  Advertising Value) domestically. For ‘our ‘Epic Holidays’ ad we had over one million flight searches in launch week, which was a 20% increase on pre-campaign benchmarks.”

“Based on System 1 Group’s research, the campaign was doing incredibly strong in terms of testing against other campaigns in market at the time. Our ‘City Escapes’ ad ranked number 1 (out of 80) campaigns. ‘Epic Holidays’ came out equally as high on its first weekend, after going live it ranked in the top 3 (out of 80) Australian topical ads for creative effectiveness,” Coghill said.

Coghill added that the success was also down picking the right talent for the campaign, and that ambassadors, husband and wife Hamish and Zoe-Foster Blake, were the perfect choice.

The campaign testing showed that 74% of respondents recognised the brand by the end of the campaign, with the highest point of brand recognition being with Hamish and Zoe in the first two-four seconds of the ad.

Blake and Foster-Blake in Tourism Australia’s Holiday Here This Year’ campaign

“Hamish and Zoe both in their own right and as a couple have very strong appeal across the board in Australia and that’s why we chose them for our domestic marketing, and when you look at these results, you can tell this campaign really resonated with Australians,” Coghill said.

In the first four weeks of the campaign, there were over one million flight searches to key destinations, including a 19% increase on the pre-campaign benchmark in week three.

Tourism Australia’s general manager domestic and New Zealand, Andrew Hutchinson said: “Our key focus is on driving tourism recovery in market failure regions that previously relied on international tourists, where domestic tourism hasn’t been able to bridge the gap.”

Destinations included Australia’s capital cities, Cairns, parts of Tropical North Queensland, The Gold Coast and The Great Ocean Road (Victoria).

According to Tourism Australia’s Regional Tourism Organisation quarterly survey, industry sentiment for the domestic market outlook has significantly improved since December 2020 with respondents much more optimistic for the short-term, according to Tourism Australia’s national conversion partners have been promoting travel with confidence and flexibility to ensure Australians feel comfortable and safe when booking a domestic holiday, with an emphasis on the importance of flexible booking terms in the event of changed travel plans due to COVID-19 outbreaks and border closures.

“Our job of creating desire and demand for travel continues to be more important than ever, and as part of this effort we need to rebuild confidence in our cities. The industry has worked so hard to provide such wonderful safe experiences for visitors,” Coghill added.

As for any plans for international expansion in the tourism sector, Coghil said: “We’re investing in significant amount of research now, understanding our consumers around the world, understanding the health of our brand around the world, understanding our brand codes, to make sure that we are best set up for success internationally.

“We’re making sure also that we interrogate the customer journey, and how it’s changing both internationally and domestically. And in New Zealand. We’re doing a lot of funnel analysis as well to understand, how how strong we are at each stage of the funnel in each of our markets, and then, the implications for how we do our planning. You know, we’re looking into understanding our competitive set internationally, with a much more a data driven approach to that as well.”

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