Tourism, Bowen Island and other stuff that comes to mind

Facebook and MySpace take over "down under" marketing!
May 12, 2008, 2:52 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

WOW….this is a huge departure from regular Tourism Marketing, and for a destination like Australia to do this shows a major vote of confidence in ‘social networking’.  What’s next?

MySpace to change face of Aussie tourism
May 9, 2008
Jessica Hurt writes in Australia’s The Advertiser in Adelaide, that the days of television advertising as the main tool for attracting tourists to the land down under are long gone. Before setting off on a big adventure, many travellers are now likely to book their trips online, check out reviews from other holidaymakers, scroll through accommodation and travel sites and then keeping friends up to date with their trip through social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace.

And now the impact of these sites is about to be put to the test, Hurt argues. From this week onwards, the world’s largest social networking site, MySpace, will be used to lure the lucrative youth market to Australia, from countries including Britain and the US.

Tourism Australia announced the campaign at a market briefing with local tourism operators in Adelaide recently. Targeting the all-important 18 to 30-year-old market, the interactive campaign will aim to stimulate travel to Australia as well as promote Australia’s working holiday visa program run in Britain, the US, Canada and Ireland.

People in these countries will be able to designate Australia as a category on their web page and upload their own photographs from their Australian holiday to share with other users. The campaign will run over 12 months and is being launched in Ireland and Britain this week and rolled out to the remaining markets early in May.

Tourism Australia managing director Geoff Buckley believes the way to reach the youth market is to “talk to them in their own language, and through the media they prefer; online communities like MySpace provide an authentic environment for young travellers to share their own stories,” he says.

As well as a new mode of communication, we could soon see a new tourism branding for Australia. Not since Paul Hogan put a shrimp on a barbie in the famous ’80s tourism ads has Auatralia managed to brand itself so well, writes Hurt. In March, 2005, a bikini-clad model named Lara Bingle helped launch the controversial “Where the bloody hell are you?” campaign.

Tenders are out for Tourism Australia’s global creative and media buying agencies. The results are expected to be known by August. The future of the “Where the bloody hell are you?” campaign is expected to be decided around that time.

The new MySpace page will harness social networking by including interactive elements such as a “widget” that users can drop and drag their “top friends” into. Friends of the profile will be able to upload their own photos and video content to the site, as well as being able to upload features from the Tourism Australia page on their own MySpace profiles.

According to Nielsen Online, nearly half the Australian population has social networking profiles and, in the next 12 months, half of the non-users indicated they would be signing up. Tourism Australia’s general manager of trade development, Matt Cameron-Smith, noted social networking sites such as MySpace, Facebook and YouTube, could be valuable tools for marketing Australia as a tourism destination.

Author: TOURISM staff
Organization: Canadian Tourism Commission


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