Gold Coast Tourism Chief Marketing Officer Jan Hutton has delivered a tough message for destination marketers in the first episode of a new travel marketing podcast.
“Tourism is dead,” says Hutton, the former CMO of South African Tourism, who joined Gold Coast Tourism in 2016, tells podcasting duo The Destinationists.
“Tourism is no longer,” says Hutton.
“We need to understand the difference between a tourist and a traveller, and destination marketers, in starting to polish and develop a new brand, need to understand that difference very fundamentally.”
The Gold Coast launched a bold new campaign to relaunch the iconic destination last February and has had mixed a reception from local industry some of whom Hutton says thought she had “thrown the baby out with the bath water”.
But in the interview with The Destinationists, co-presented by Tourism Australia’s former Global Content Editor Andrés López-Varela and Storyation co-founder Lauren Quaintance, Hutton is unapologetic about the rebrand.
“We wanted to showcase that the Gold Coast was more than theme parks and beaches. And I say that with genuine respect because our theme park partners are crucial to us, we work closely with them …but we needed to tell a broader, bigger story.”
She says traveller appetites have changed, and the DMO’s target audience had little appreciation for the breadth of what the Gold Coast had to offer.
“Understanding what a traveller is and understand how they want to travel and live like a local for the period they are there is really important in starting to reconfigure a new brand that appeals to them.”
The Destinationists is billed as a podcast for the modern travel marketer that will deliver actionable insights from the world’s top brands.