The massive missing piece of Australia's Tourism approach
Friday 25 November 2011
It's taken me a while to get the Tourism Thinking piece together given the extensive travel this year that has enabled me to assess where Australia's tourism is not getting things right. This update won't paint the full picture (a couple of clients have first crack at this research) but it is important enough to be able to give you the quick thumbnail sketch. And let's just say that complaints about the high aussie dollar are somewhat of a smokescreen even if it has choked a few travellers out of the marketplace. Here's the quick take:
1. Going back to the enormously successful 'throw a shrimp on the BBQ' campaign featuring Paul Hogan, what everyone seems to have missed is the single core element that Commercial contained and it is this: Paul Hogan issued a PERSONAL invitation for people to come and visit. The Lara Bingle 'emulation' failed utterly because it wasn't perceived as a personal invitation but a somewhat rude demand for a reason why people weren't coming. And the gloriously expensive 'postcard' model of recent times is still stuck in the old model of tourism. Other tourism groups here in Australia know I've been telling them to 'move beyond postcards' since about 2005
2. TA has failed to capitalise on the largest factor in its favour - Australians heading overseas. Can you get any more direct than to have Aussies heading OS hand over a PERSONAL invite to people they meet, to come to Australia? The advertising campaigns might be big and sexy things to put together, but they miss completely the CORE success capability available
3. In some of the more interesting places I've been to this year, there is a growing discontent with the Australian traveler. In one high end tourism crowd, an expat who has been living in that town for a few years told me that the 'locals have had it with drunk, obnoxious and disrespectful aussie hoons who think they have a right to carry on like fools.' A local police office I spoke to in that town said 'unfortunately when it comes to social disobedience, more and more frequently we are finding its your fellow Australians in the centre of the ruckus'
There's more to say about costs of hotels, poor service and other aspects. And if you're in the Tourism industry in Australia, the personal approach is something I can encourage you to take a HIGHLY focused look at.
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