Chief Executive Officer's Report
With visitor numbers setting new records, the government and industry’s visitor economy strategy is progressing well towards achieving its goals. This is good news for Tasmania and we are committed to playing our part to reach the T21 goals.
As a result of the Tasmanian Government’s increased marketing investment, we were able to expand our destination marketing program in 2016-17, spending $16 million on a range of new and existing projects to increase our state’s holiday appeal and attract more leisure visitors.
In December 2016, we launched our inaugural summer advocacy campaign #TassieStyle. Although we have not traditionally promoted Tasmania during the peak holiday season, the opportunity to connect with Tasmanians and over a quarter of a million visitors and encourage them to share photos and stories of their Tassie summer experience, was too good to pass up.
The campaign was a great success, with local tourism businesses and organisations getting involved, and a huge response from visitors and locals.
However just as importantly, where previously we staged two major campaigns a year, today we now have a near continuous year-round program of activity. This gives us an always-on presence in front of consumers and greater opportunity to test, refine and reshape our content to make sure it stays appealing in a busy market place.
The arrival of our new Chief Marketing Officer, Emma Terry, has also provided an ideal opportunity for us to consider our marketing approach and update our operations from strategy all the way through to engagement.
During the year, we had a deeper dive into our international marketing approach to assess the future growth potential of our international markets. The review confirmed our best prospects and recommended new ways of working in these markets.
Our aim is to increase the proportion of international visitors in our overall visitor mix and create a more balanced visitor portfolio. Our evolved approach to international markets will ensure we allocate resources to the markets and the partnerships that will achieve this.
Building an even closer partnership with Tourism Australia will be a particularly crucial part of our future. In a first of its kind partnership with them, we are recruiting specialist Tasmania marketing managers in Europe and North America. This will ensure we gain maximum benefit from Tourism Australia’s networks and investment in these markets.
Our ongoing partnership with Tasmania’s regional tourism organisations continues to be a crucial part of our destination marketing program. During the year, we worked closely with our regional tourism organisations to ensure a supply of engaging brand-aligned content for our campaigns, and will increase this focus to produce exceptional regional content.
Knowing our customer’s needs and aspirations is also key to our success. A recent market segmentation study revealed Tassie connects strongly with Australian travellers looking for a destination that meets particular emotional needs. In response, we are developing a new target segment profile for Tassie to take full advantage of this strong competitive edge.
Rethinking the way we do things, striving for continuous improvement, and being open to new possibilities and approaches is, we believe, the best way to sustain our growth levels and continue to have a positive impact on leisure travel to Tasmania.
Thank you to all the staff for their commitment and hard work this past year and to our board of directors for their continued support of our efforts to build a strong and sustainable tourism industry in Tasmania.
Chief Executive Officer