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30 REGION AUSTRALIA & PACIFIC G’Day Berlin Tourism Australia underlines new promotional initiatives and blossoming partnerships at ITB Berlin In the run up to the show, we take a peek at the current state of tourist affairs for the great land down under. We asked Eva seller, regional General Manager, Continental Europe for Tourism Australia what makes Australia so special as a destination… Eva Seller regional General Manager continental europe, tourism australia As Regional General Manager Continental Europe, Eva is responsible for the management of the operations of Tourism Australia’s Continental Europe Region which includes Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland, Spain and Austria across all areas of the business. In this role, Eva develops and implements marketing strategies and business plans for Continental Europe and manages stakeholder relations across the region including media and distribution partners in Europe and Australia, government agencies including Embassies, Austrade and Australian State and Territory Relationships. Eva joined Tourism Australia in January 1999 after 4 years with a French Hotel Group in several sales & marketing positions which included the opening of the company’s German sales office. At Tourism Australia, Eva was previously responsible for the marketing activities across Continental Europe and has held senior roles in the distribution area. It’s the variety of unique and really distinctive nature experiences. You have places as varied as the Bungle Bungles in the Kimberly, and natural phenomena like Sydney Harbour, Uluru, the Great Barrier Reef, Freycinet in Tasmania and Kangaroo Island in South Australia. They’re all natural beauties and icons in themselves, but the possibility of visiting several of those in the one holiday is unbeatable. It’s a very inspiring destination for our international travellers, on the one hand because of that impressive range of natural assets, but also due to the heritage and cultural offering; in particular in the indigenous culture, which is of huge appeal and interest for our European customers. For tourists from Continental Europe, it’s more about discovering this diversity and being active participants, being fascinated by the isolation and seeing these vibrant towns right next to beautiful nature. Then there’s the people… the Australians are a major draw-card for all our visitors. The one thing that most impresses tourists is the Australians themselves, their lifestyle, and the fact they don’t take themselves too seriously. But they are still serious about everything they do in life, in the right proportions. From Germany alone, we have about 155,000 visitors, and despite a tough overall environment, we still finished the 2012 calendar year in Germany with a slight increase – just under one percent, of which we are very proud. The other two main markets we look after from this office – France and Italy – actually finished on an even better note. France finished on a 3.8% plus, and Italy was up almost 11%. In 2010, Tourism Australia launched the “There’s nothing like Australia” campaign. This year, you launch into phase 2. Could you please tell us more about this? When we launched “There’s Nothing Like Australia” in 2010, it was at that time designed to be a long lasting and flexible campaign. The idea of the campaign was to have something that stays, but at the same time is flexible enough to evolve over time so that it remains relevant. This is because we are in a highly competitive global tourism environment and there is so much change that you just need to be able to adapt your campaign to it. So in a second phase, which we launched this year, we put a stronger focus on the one hand on digital channels and social media, which goes along with global development. Also, as our Managing Director Andrew McEvoy put it so well, we “took it up a notch”. Basically we really want to show what differentiates Australia from other destinations, and do that by showcasing the “world’s best” experiences in Australia… things that you can only do in this country. So we now include tangible product in our promotions, which we always avoided in the past. We work on the assumption that there is a certain halo effect, that if you lead-in with your best, there are obviously those people who will go for that, but others can also enjoy the same natural beauty, but with a different product range. So we are going-in with specific experiences, rather than being “all things for all people” and have selected several destinations including the Red Centre, the Kimberly, the Great Ocean Road, Lizard and Hayman Islands, Kangaroo Island and Freycenet (Tasmania) – as lead-in destinations to showcase why there is “Nothing Like Australia”. The other thing that has evolved as part of the campaign is that several industry interest groups have formed. Internally, we call them a “best of” initiative – groupings of tour operators. There is the “Great Australian Walks” initiative, showcasing great walks in a beautiful natural environment, in style and in comfort. There’s also the “best of” Australian golf courses, and the Association of Luxury Lodges of Australia, which has been in existence for a couple of years… and currently under development is a food and wine initiative, which will be up and running in the next months. What were the results of the first part of the campaign? There was fantastic partner take-up. This campaign has been embraced by local ITB BERLIN NEWS • Wednesday 27 th February 2013

AUSTRALIA & PACIFIC REGION 31 tour operators in Germany, France and Italy, as well as our state partners. We have created a range of tools for our trade partners; tangible marketing material that they can download and further develop themselves, and that has had very good pick-up. We also obviously conduct “famil” activities or travel agent trips to Australia that will allow them to experience these areas. The travel trade in Europe remains vital for any booking for Australia. I know we are living in a time when “everything happens on the Internet”, but for a travel proposition like Australia, people still like to deal with a real person, with their experience, and the safety net of somebody else making sure you actually get everything in your limited holiday time that you would like to get. We work very strongly with travel agents and tour operators, putting our tools at their disposal, and invite them to experience Australia for themselves. Initiatives include our stand at ITB Berlin, but there’s also the ATE (Australian Tourism Exchange) in Sydney in April, where a large contingent of European buyers is attending to meet with Australian product suppliers. There are some pretty big brand names out there; names like Dertour, Meiers Weltreisen and FTI, who work extremely closely with us, and have been doing more co-op work with us since we launched “There is Nothing Like Australia”. Social media is becoming more important when it comes to promoting tourism. How is Tourism Australia leveraging this? First of all, we have a global Tourism Australia Facebook page, which is Facebook. com/seeaustralia, which has more than four million fans. We have a dedicated team that’s sitting in Australia, working with that page day-in, day-out, and we are reaching more than one million unique visitors on a daily average. We are running a lot of fan photos. We get more than 1,400 photos posted on our wall every week. The team selects something out of that and then shares it with the world. And the reactions and the engagement that we get are just amazing. It is the most viewed Facebook page in Australia, and in terms of destination pages world-wide, it’s the most popular in terms of number of fans and engagement. We also have local pages in German, French and Italian, which are a lot smaller than that, but which we predominantly use to push the working holiday message, because that is a very important segment for all our European markets. This is especially true in terms of economic crisis. Young people quite often use the working holiday to do something “sensible” in a year when they may not find a job back home, and have fun at the same time. So especially from France and Italy, but also from Germany, that segment is growing; so we have localised pages to engage with that audience. We have just launched a mobile version of in French, German and Italian as well. It had been launched in an English version over a year ago. And as part of the second phase of “Nothing Like”, we have launched a tablet application, which is a very inspirational piece of work. This is available in English and German. With this, people can dream and play around with the destination and see where they could be going. This year, you are sharing a stand with Tourism New Zealand. Tell us more about your stand. This was based on industry feedback from Australia and New Zealand that many of the partners and people we deal with there have businesses across both countries, so we are making this the most easy and efficient platform for everyone. On the one hand, it’s an area where we can meet partners and media so we can get a feel for tourism trends, and at the same time we can showcase Australia to the travel trade and also the consumers. We will have a press briefing on the Wednesday at 11 am, where Andrew McEvoy will talk about the latest initiatives of Tourism Australia. I will be there as well as will our FOr A TrAVEL PrOPOsITION LIkE AUsTrALIA, PEOPLE sTILL LIkE TO DEAL WITh A rEAL PErsON, WITh ThEIr ExPErIENCE, AND ThE sAFETy NET OF sOMEBODy ELsE MAkING sUrE yOU ACTUALLy GET EVEryThING IN yOUr LIMITED hOLIDAy TIME ThAT yOU WOULD LIkE TO GET Executive General Manager Marketing, Nick Baker. What are your key aims at the show? Our key aim is to bring our Australian partners together with the buying audience from Europe and to facilitate business for these people. Hall 5.2 A Stand 120 Sydney ITB BERLIN NEWS • Wednesday 27 th February 2013

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