Aussie appetite for Haggis grows

Aussie appetite for Haggis grows
By admin

Scotland remains the number one performer across the Haggis, Shamrocker and Busabout programs with its popularity set to keep rising, according to boss Graeme Ward.

With Australia still by far the number one market for the three brands, Ward highlighted the Haggis brand as a particular success story. He anticipated more growth for the Scottish program on the back of a series of major promotions this year and next.

"There are a lot of very good cultural touch points," he told Travel Today. The destination provided the backdrop for movies Brave and Skyfall last year and is this year being promoted by Visit Scotland's "Year of Natural Scotland" campaign.

The tourism body is also preparing to "welcome the world" in 2014 with its "Year of Homecoming" when the destination will host the Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup.

Meanwhile, Haggis has also taken the promotion of Scotland as a destination into its own hands, implementing the highly successful Blogmanay event that took 26 international bloggers to Edinburgh and beyond for a two-week period over new year. The campaign generated more than 80 million impressions in Twitter from 9,000 tweets, 70 separate blog posts and 1,300 Instagram snaps.

The firm is already planning "Blogmanay 2.0", Ward revealed.

The social sphere continues to be an important avenue for the marketing of the three youth-focused brands. This year, they will once again enlist the help of video bloggers known as "vloggers' to help spread the word, but this time on a larger scale.

"Rather than just one person, we want to do something a bit more community-based," Ward said. More details will be revealed in coming weeks.

Meanwhile, the firm expects to start really seeing the benefits of London's hosting of the 2012 Olympic Games this year.

"Last year, Australians booking flights were avoiding London," he said. "With airfares and accommodation through the roof, London was not a cheap destination."

The avoidance of London created issues for its Scotland and Ireland programs with many Aussies transiting through the UK capital to reach those destinations. On the plus side, its Busabout program benefited from a rising number of Aussies flying into mainland Europe.

"In the long-term it's a positive, the amount of press and focus on the UK in general," Ward said, stressing the Olympic campaign had always been seen as a three year strategy.

But, despite any issues last year, the business emerged unscathed.

"We've been consistently in double digit growth for the last four years and we're on track for the same in 2013," he said.



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