Tourism Australia has announced that tourism has crossed a threshold to attain its position as one of Australia’s predominant industries.
“Economically I’d argue we have crossed that threshold, no longer super sector of the future, we have taken that position,” Tourism Australia managing director John O’Sullivan said.
The tourism sector has grown at four times the rate of the Australian economy, with a 17% increase in tourism GDP in two years, versus 4.1% for the economy as a whole.
China represents the highest tourism spend, up 11%, while Japan has the strongest growth in spend, up 29% in 2016.
O’Sullivan said the need to differentiate the Australia brand was crucial.
“Walking around ITB or WTN trade shows like I have, the brands our competitors have do look very similar,” O’Sullivan said.
The marketing focus will hone in on two pillars going forward: wildlife and the youth market.
“We have 8.3 million ad agencies come in each year – they take photos, post on social media and they are our greatest advocates. They are more authentic, it cuts through,” O’Sullivan said.
Tourism Australia’s success on social media platforms means they are on the front foot as it changes direction.
“It’s really morphing now, people are seeing themselves as Martin Scorsece and using video,” O’Sullivan said.
They recently launched a drone footage competition and they have received more than 1000 entries within a week.
In September this year, Tourism Australia will launch a campaign to target youth and working holiday maker travel.
“Nature, wildlife and youth will supplement the coastal and aquatic, food and wine pillars to be our marketing focus to 2020,” O’Sullivan said.
“Experiences are at the heart of what we do and will continue to do.”