Social media vital to Aus tourism: ATE 2012

19 Jun 2012  667 | World Travel News

Tourism Australia has outlined the definitive need for the tourism industry to place a focus on social media, online campaigns and research.

During the Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE) 2012, Tourism Australia executive general manager Nick Baker described the way Tourism Australia utilises social media as an emotional platform to communicate positive messages.

“We’ve told everybody, ‘There’s nothing like Australia’, now we need to prove it. We wanted to move it from a rational approach to a more emotional one,” Mr Baker said.

“We’ve got to differentiate the country, really show what is unique about this country and bring it to life in a way that everyone finds appealing. The way we’ve chosen to do this is by telling stories.”

Mr Baker said online social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter and mobile phone applications were fantastic in allowing consumers, potential customers and the general public to share ideas, images, stories and past experiences in a global environment.

“It’s no longer just about the big ad. It’s about how you’re going to tell that story from inspiring people to giving people information so that they’re able to go out there and book.

As storytellers, how do we tell a richer deeper story than an ad can, when we’re in so many markets around the world? We decided to create a cross between a coffee table book, an online television show and a travel guide... condensed into one tablet app.”

Tourism Australia managing director Andrew McEvoy was adamant about the incomparable advantages social media possesses, not only for the national tourist bureau but for the industry as a whole.

“Operators who haven't already done so should really embrace digital and social media. People are passionate about travel and love to share their holiday experiences.

“There is a strong bragability factor about a holiday which plays out very strongly in social media and is a huge opportunity for operators to really tap into,” Mr McEvoy said.

In addition, Australian operators are being offered the opportunity to promote their tourism business or region and exploit a three million plus Facebook fan base by listing themselves in a 'things to do’ section on Tourism Australia’s Facebook page.

“It’s not just, we’re building content with the other great distributors of tourism information globally, whether they be airlines, search engines or social media platforms,” Mr McEvoy said.

Mr McEvoy also highlighted research by Teletext Holidays, revealing that over 25 percent of Brits admit to booking a holiday after becoming jealous of their friends’ holiday pictures on Facebook - with Australia ranked as the most enviable holiday destination.
“We’re harnessing the power of social media as we continue to enhance our presence in the digital space, and it’s paying off.”

Sourced: etravelblackboardasia