Goal 2: Drive Demand for Tasmania
New tourism brand
Tasmania is known nationally and internationally as a spectacularly pristine land and sea environment with a rich cultural heritage and a world-class food and wine offering. But destinations like New Zealand, Oregon, Alaska and a myriad of others make the same claim. In order to secure the long-term sustainability of our tourism industry, Tourism Tasmania worked to develop a new tourism brand to give Tasmania a unique voice in the market place and underpin our domestic and international marketing for the next three to five years.
Our aim was to convey the notions, feelings and attributes that make Tasmania the special place it is, and in doing so, enable us to talk to consumers in a way significantly different from our competitors. Using facilitated workshops and one-on-one interviews with Tasmanian tourism operators and other stakeholders, we compiled a collection of ideas and emotions that best described the unique characteristics of Tasmania as a tourist destination.
At the same time, we undertook research to identify the people most likely to travel to Tasmania - our best prospects - and to find the most effective way to tell them about the state and what it has to offer. The final stage in the development of the new brand was to put it into practice.
We used our new brand story and research findings to develop an innovative marketing campaign that would stand apart from traditional tourism advertising - one that portrayed a rich journey of discovery in a way that surprised and delighted visitors. The new campaign was themed Tasmania - Go Behind the Scenery, and was the first to present Tasmania using the new brand, but not the last.
Over the coming year, Tourism Tasmania will continue to refine the brand interpretation as well as work closely with the Regional Tourism Organisations on the application of the brand in their own marketing promotions.
Tourism Tasmania conducts integrated marketing campaigns at strategic times during the year with the aim of moving consumers from dreaming about a holiday, through intention and desire to travel, to booking and post-holiday sharing. The campaigns are heavily integrated with other Tourism Tasmania activities such as distribution, sector partnerships and public relations activities.
In January 2012, Tourism Tasmania recognised the need to differentiate Tasmania from other destinations in order to better compete in a crowded and noisy marketplace. In response, Tourism Tasmania undertook to develop a new tourism brand for the state. This brand work was still underway at the time of our major spring campaign and not fully realised until March 2013 with the delivery of the Tasmania – Go Behind the Scenery campaign.
Tourism Tasmania conducted two major domestic campaigns in 2012-13, along with two intrastate campaigns.
Save a Mainlander
The interstate Save a Mainlander campaign was a unique and slightly quirky two-month online promotion to encourage the friends and relatives of Tasmanians to visit the state for a holiday or break. The two-month campaign ran from 1 June to 30 July 2012.
Tourism Tasmania used the Save a Mainlander website to monitor the campaign's performance. The website received 18 807 unique visits and over 79 700 page views with readers reading an average of four pages. A quiz that formed the centrepiece of the campaign saw 4,941 Tasmanian entries and 4,839 interstate entries. A total of 741 itineraries were downloaded from the site.
The Tassie Afterglow campaign ran in September 2012 with a spend of around $1 million. This campaign was an intermediate promotion for the coming spring and preceded the new destination brand campaign launched in March 2013.
Advertisements developed for the campaign introduced a cheeky undertone and a distinctive photographic style that emulated 1970's imagery. The advertisements evoked a sense of nostalgia consistent with romance novels, pulp fiction paperbacks and early advertising.
The Tassie Afterglow website was the call-to-action and delivered 27 itineraries. The website received over 33 00 visits (28 672 unique visits) and 14 718 itineraries were downloaded by website visitors.
Tassie Comeback Tour
The Tassie Comeback Tour campaign commenced on 28 February and ran until 30 April 2013. Tourism Tasmania developed the campaign in response to bushfires that threatened properties and lives on Tasmania's East Coast and Tasman Peninsula.
Tourism Tasmania developed the campaign in consultation with the Tourism Industry Council of Tasmania, the state's Regional Tourism Organisations, the Tasmanian Visitor Information Network, the Parks and Wildlife Service and local tourism associations in fire-affected areas.
Tourism Tasmania invested around $250 000 in the two-month TV, radio, press and social media promotion. This included the production of the commercials and social media materials as well as the purchase of advertising on TV, radio and newspapers.
The Tassie Comeback Tour campaign used tourism and other business owners and staff from the state's bushfire-affected areas in two, 30-second TV commercials selling the promise that a visit to the bushfire-affected areas was as good for Tasmanians as it was for the businesses in these areas. The commercials were supported by radio advertising on most of Tasmania's commercial metropolitan and regional radio stations and print advertisements were inserted in Tasmania's three regional daily newspapers. All calls to action were to a Tassie Comeback Tour Facebook page that provided viewers with ideas, information and itineraries focusing on the many tourism experiences in or near the affected areas.
Tasmania – Go Behind the Scenery
Tasmania- Go Behind the Scenery marketing campaign is the first Tourism Tasmania campaign to interpret Tasmania's new tourism brand. Part provocative, part comedic and a big step away from traditional marketing, the campaign aimed to encourage mainland Australians to visit the state and 'go behind the scenery' to discover the real Tasmania.
The campaign ran in Melbourne and Sydney from 24 March to 31 May 2013 with cooperative marketing activity with partners extending well beyond this date.
The campaign incorporated a range of free-to-air, SBS and pay television, print, digital, cinema and outdoor advertising. Media spend for the campaign was $1.7 million actual, with negotiations increasing the media value to $3.3 million.
The production costs for the campaign were $1.3 million, incorporating television commercial production, photo-shoot, online video production, campaign website development, social media extension activity and print advertising production.
A 30 and 60 second television and cinema commercial formed the centrepiece of the campaign, its art house feel taking viewers through scenes that weave together the beauty of Tasmania with its more magical, quirky and unknown elements.
In addition, a campaign microsite with social media extension included contributions from social media power users Caz and Craig on Pinterest (YTravel blog – 4.4 million followers), Lauren Bath on Instagram (200 000 followers) and Brooke Schoernman travel blogger (Brooke vs the World).
A total of six comedic online videos highlighted Tasmania's five regions (plus all-of-state) were also distributed through the campaign microsite.
The majority of the assets developed for the campaign – photos, videos, website and print materials - will be used well beyond this initial campaign as a library of on-brand materials for future campaign, PR and other cooperative marketing activities.
The campaign was well received by tourism operators and advertising industry professionals and saw consumers download a record number of itineraries from the campaign microsite.
International Marketing Review
In 2012, Tourism Tasmania reviewed its international marketing program to ensure its operations delivered the best possible return on investment and aligned with the changes taking place in global travel.
After a thorough reassessment of our international marketing strategy, Tourism Tasmania has now realigned its international marketing operations with markets and opportunities that offer the best chance of influencing prospective international visitors to visit Tasmania.
Drawing on the wealth of research available, we developed a model of current and future global tourism trends regarding travel to Australia and Tasmania. We found that, not only is there expected to be significant growth in inbound travel from the medium-haul Asia region, but the changing global economy has also affected travel from Tasmania's traditional source markets of the UK, Europe, North America and Japan. The new model also considers Tourism Tasmania's capacity to actively influence the destination decisions of travellers.
In response to the findings, Tourism Tasmania has reduced the number of contracted in-market representatives in several markets including the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Japan and Korea to allow us to concentrate on our growing markets like Greater China, Malaysia and Singapore.
We are also working more closely with Tourism Australia to strengthen and extend brand activity in our shared markets. Our partnership includes co-operative activity through visiting journalist programs, in-market campaigns, digital platforms, and media and public relations.
Other changes include an increase in internationally focussed sales-oriented programs such as the Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE), with overseas sales and marketing missions playing a pivotal role in our ability to effectively market our destination and product to the world. We are also developing strategies to promote Tasmania to internationals that are already visiting, studying or living in Australia.
Tourism Tasmania will continue to monitor its key international markets in case further adjustments are needed in response to changing market conditions.
Tourism Tasmania works with travel distributors who sell Tasmanian travel products. These partners include travel retailers, wholesalers, airlines, online travel agents and inbound tour operators.
Our aim is to help them convert holiday planners to actual visitors by providing them with high quality Tasmanian holiday information and helping them communicate the Tasmanian brand to their respective customers.
This year, Tourism Tasmania undertook cooperative advertising with retail, wholesale and online distributors. An investment of $177 650 in tactical campaigns with Tas Vacations, Infinity Holiday, Flight Centre, Wotif, Lastminute.com and VisitVineyards.com produced a total campaign media value of $2 005 000.
Tourism Tasmania also worked with airline partners Qantas Group (including Qantas, QantasLink and Jetstar), Virgin Australia and Tiger Airways on a range of partnership activities. These included two co-operative campaigns with Jetstar that saw Tourism Tasmania invest $150 000 to generate $500 000 of media value. The two Jet Star campaigns also returned over 30 000 seat sales to Tasmania.
Other activities with Tiger, Sharp, Qantas and Virgin saw Tourism Tasmania invest $185 000 for a total return of over $400 000 media value.
As well, Qantas and QantasLink provided airline seats for travel agents visiting Tasmania on a mega famil, while Qantas has produced and is maintaining a dedicated Qantas Travel Tasmania website available to consumers all year round.
Tourism Tasmania also undertook training programs to ensure travel sellers have the necessary destination information to enable them to make the most of their Tasmanian sales. These included the design and delivery of four destination training modules. A total of over 111 travel agents completed the modules, qualifying as Tassie specialists and entitling them to participate in an exclusive travel agent program.
In addition, a product road show took 15 Tasmanian products to Sydney, Brisbane, Gold Coast and Newcastle to present to almost 300 travel agents. Other educational activities included a four-day mega famil and supplier expo for 60 travel agents from a variety of retail chains and a two-day workshop and a Launceston and surrounds famil for 28 inbound tour operators.
Tourism Tasmania also provided cooperative funding to major industry partners, including Accor, Federal Group and Innkeepers, to support print and digital marketing activities. Funding support also enabled additional airline campaigns compared to the previous period that focussed on shoulder season to boost industry activity at a time when Tasmanian businesses experience a market downturn. This year saw a Tourism Tasmania investment of $46 000 in industry cooperative support return a media value of $102 000.
Discover Tasmania website redevelopment
Tourism Tasmania maintains Tasmania's official travel website, www.discovertasmania.com.au. The website aims to inspire potential travellers and help them plan and share information about Tasmania and Tasmanian travel experiences.
There are over 2 500 businesses represented on the website. Tasmanian product information displayed on the website is stored in Tourism Tasmania's TigerTour database and is also replicated through the Australian Tourism Data Warehouse (ATDW) to over 40 national and international travel websites. This ensures that Tasmanian businesses are accessible through a range of distributors in our domestic and international markets.
In 2012-13, the website received 2 307 253 visits, a more than 12 per cent increase over the same period last year.
This year has seen Tourism Tasmania embark on a major review of all its digital activity. The work was aligned to the development of a new tourism brand for Tasmania and Tourism Tasmania's five-year marketing strategy and as a result has led to a redevelopment of the Discover Tasmania website.
The redevelopment is part of a larger digital strategy that will see Tourism Tasmania deliver the right information to visitors at the right time - before, during and after their visit. The redeveloped website and associated digital activities will enable greater use of social media and be optimised for use on mobile devices - the technology of choice for today's modern traveller.
Additional functionality, including an upgrade of Tourism Tasmania's customer relations management system to support targeted messaging, will also be added following the website's launch, early in the 2014 financial year.
Tourism Tasmania's Public Relations (PR) activities undertaken in our domestic and international markets support and broaden the reach of Tourism Tasmania's key marketing campaigns and brand message and are important in providing an ongoing presence in the marketplace outside of paid advertising activity.
To recognise the 30 year anniversary of the listing of Tasmania's Wilderness World Heritage Area (TWWHA), Tourism Tasmania invested $80 000 in a 12 month global PR program to generate media coverage, highlight the variety, accessibility and depth of tourism product connected with Tasmania's World Heritage Wilderness and create domestic and international conversion opportunities.
As part of the integrated marketing activity, the key messages of the campaign were incorporated into a cooperative marketing campaign with Jetstar Airlines. The Jetstar campaign featured special flight prices and compelling itineraries highlighting the unique travel experiences in Tasmania's wilderness area. The campaign included a consumer competition on Jetstar's Facebook page and a special Tasmanian editorial feature highlighting walking, rafting and canyoning experiences in the region.
Media coverage under the project to date has generated over $1 884 152 in Estimated Advertising Value (EAV) and reached over 15 million people worldwide. A total of 38 visiting journalists sponsored by Tourism Tasmania's Visiting Journalist Program, included the TWWHA in their famils with 34 individual products and a total of 182 product visits featured as part of the itineraries.
Tourism Tasmania also worked to leverage the opportunities raised by the state's industry awards and accolades to generate awareness and interest in the destination. Working with Tourism Australia and Destination Southern Tasmania, significant media coverage was generated when Lonely Planet named Hobart in its Best in Travel 2013 publication as one of the top 10 cities in the world to visit in 2013.
Similar activity was undertaken around the 2012 Qantas Australian Tourism Awards to leverage Tasmania's record success. Together, these two activities generated $1 295 679 estimated advertising value.
Other PR activities undertaken this year saw a total of 35 media releases distributed nationally to key media outlets, generating $1 331 332 in EAV. Responding to media requests for research around story angles and features and requests for content and images resulted in $1 28 460 in EAV.
In 2013-14, Tourism Tasmania will work to create further advocacy outside traditional media channels, with a real focus on creating advocacy by partnering with influencers. This will see a continued investment in key PR social and VJP activity with new and exciting initiatives.
International public relations
Tourism Tasmania's international marketing and public relations effort in 2012-13 focussed on North America, United Kingdom, Germany, Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Japan and Korea.
Tasmania hosted an eight-member editorial crew from the leading US hiking lifestyle magazine Backpacker. The primary focus was to test outdoor adventure gear for their April 2013 Editor's Choice issue, along with editorial research for a feature article on Tasmania's hiking opportunities and experiences.
From our UK market, a group of five specialist media with commissions from leading UK wildlife magazines visited Tasmania as part of a 12-month campaign to raise awareness of Tasmania's wilderness, and birding and wildlife opportunities.
Meanwhile the Hunter continued to attract attention following its release in continental Europe with the travel editors of the Financial Times, Sunday Times, The Guardian and the editor-in-chief of Wanderlust magazine each attending an initial private screening event that featured an appearance by Willem Dafoe.
In Korea, a six-page editorial on Tasmanian golf links (including Barnbougle Dunes, Barnbougle Lost Farm, Ratho and Royal Tasmania golf clubs) featured in the July edition of Golf Digest Korea. The article was the direct result of a VJP famil in June 2012. The article achieved equivalent advertising value (EAV) of $56,000 through a circulation of up to 100,000 of Korea's leading male travel demographic.
In Singapore, Tourism Tasmania joined Qantas, Tourism Australia and Mark Webber to promote the 2012 Swisse Mark Webber Challenge. Supported by leading Singapore commercial radio station SAFRA Power 98, the event followed the Singapore F1 Grand Prix, and gave listeners a chance to win a trip to Tasmania to coincide with the 2012 Challenge. The public relations initiative received significant press and exposure across television, print, online and social media.
In New Zealand, a partnership with the iconic outdoor brand, Kathmandu, raised consumer awareness and perceptions of Tasmania via Kathmandu's brand and extensive consumer database through in-store, print, online and commercial television activity.
In Japan, Japan Airlines launched its World of Beauty calendar for 2013 that featured imagery from Mt Field National Park for the month of November 2013. The calendar has been produced for over 40 years and is one of the most popular in Japan with over 1.25 million copies in distribution direct to consumers. Tasmania was last featured in 2004 with an image of the Richmond Bridge.
Sector and Niche Marketing
Tourism Tasmania aims to increase visitation through the promotion of special-interest experiences and partners with peak industry bodies to reach target niche audiences. The key experiences that Tourism Tasmania promotes include walking, fishing, golf, wine and whisky, caravan and mobile home travellers, backpacking and adventure, gardens and wildlife.
In partnership with Tourism Australia and industry operators, Tourism Tasmania provides ongoing support for the Best of Australia programs, promoting Tasmania's leading experiences both internationally and domestically through PR, media and specialist trade initiatives.
Programs include Great Golf Courses of Australia, with supporting industry investment from Barnbougle Dunes and Barnbougle Lost Farm; Great Walks of Australia – with Tasmania having four of the seven products that make up the national program; and Ultimate Winery Experiences of Australia, currently in development.
Tourism Tasmania supported Great Golf Australia in hosting a media event for influential golf writers during this year's US Masters where Australian Adam Scott won the day. This activity was backed up by a series of international golf and high-end luxury trade famils cooperatively hosted around the Australian Tourism Exchange by Tourism Australia, Great Golf Australia and Tourism Tasmania.
This year, Tourism Tasmania partnered with Blooming Tasmania to sponsor Gardening Australia's ‘Gardener of the Year' promotion. As the major partner and prize destination, Tasmania continues to receive coverage in every edition, through Gardening Australia's social media channels as well as editorial that will reinforce Tourism Tasmania's 2013-14 spring campaign.
Tourism Tasmania has also partnered with Wine Tasmania to leverage the Tasmania Unbottled events in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane in August 2012. The events showcased Tasmanian cool climate wines to a combination of trade, media and consumers across a variety of events.
Cooperative marketing activities undertaken this year include attendance at specialist consumer expos such as the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show, Sydney Backpacker Expo and Victorian Caravan & Camping Supershow, support of the development and promotion of the 60 Great Short Walks app as well as consumer direct campaigns and specialist famils.
In 2013-14, Tourism Tasmania will focus on promoting leading experiences in our major integrated marketing campaigns.
Visiting Journalist Program
Tourism Tasmania's Visiting Journalist Program (VJP) plays an integral part in Tourism Tasmania's marketing strategy. Targeted journalists, online content generators and opinion leaders are supported in visiting Tasmania for the purpose of creating editorial, online and social content to showcase Tasmania as a holiday destination. The program allows Tourism Tasmania to showcase tourism experiences from all over Tasmania, with regional dispersal being an important objective of the program.
In 2012-13 Tourism Tasmania hosted 106 domestic and 75 international media visits. These visits have generated $29 million in equivalent advertising value.
In 2013-14, Tourism Tasmania will undertake a strategic review of the Visiting Journalist Program (VJP) to enable it to better reflect the changing media landscape, allow the program to better service content generation and consolidation and allow for a more suitable approach to attracting content from offline and online influencers.
Online content generation and influencer activity is not able to be directly measured with advertising equivalency however is recognised as a critical component of creating consumer advocacy now and into the future. Online content is measured in metrics including reach, longevity of content, searchability of content and brand alignment of content.
Social media is a core component of Tourism Tasmania's approach to marketing the state.
Tourism Tasmania maintains a presence on Facebook, Weibo (China), Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Tumblr and Google Plus. Tourism Tasmania also has two blogs – one for user-generated content and another attached to the Discover Tasmania website.
Tourism Tasmania has maintained growth in its social media community through 2012-13 with approximately 22 500 members, an increase of 6 200 in the past 12 months. Typically, total reach in Facebook is currently 180 000 at any one time, and 4.2 million ‘friends of friends' who are in our message stream.
Monthly activity level is around 220 new Twitter followers a month, more than 450 Facebook members a month, approximately 100 re-tweets, 330 sent messages over all channels, 5 500 sampled messages and pictures ‘mentioning Tasmania' in a useful context, 200 direct mentions and 500 000 impressions in Twitter.
Social media activities in 2012-13 included joint promotion with Brand Tasmania and key influencers such as photographers, regional offices, and the Breath of Fresh Air short film competition. Social media activity also involved cooperative social media campaigns with partners WOTIF and Tourism Australia.
In addition to its social media effort, Tourism Tasmania uses a corporate Twitter account to distribute corporate information including news announcements and tailored media releases for national and international travel media.
This coming year will see us further integrate social media into our marketing mix. Greater reliance will be placed in third-party advocacy and the use of word of mouth to promote the destination – all objectives ideally suited to the use of social media.
Business Events Tasmania
Business events offer considerable tourism and industry benefits to Tasmania. They attract visitors to the state and provide opportunities for cross-industry development. Tourism Tasmania works in partnership with Business Events Tasmania (BET). Annual funding support, provided by Tourism Tasmania, aims to maximise the potential for business events to increase the number of visitors and their length of stay, particularly during shoulder season.
This year, Tourism Tasmania provided BET with an operating grant of $540 000. In addition BET received a state grant of $170 000 for the Meet in Tasmania Incentive Scheme, bringing the total funding for 2012-13 to $710 000. Over the year, Business Events Tasmania achieved 74 bid wins with an economic value of $43.4 million. In addition, Business Events Tasmania represented Tasmania at seven Australasian trade shows, hosted clients on five major famils and conducted 46 site inspections.
The current partnership arrangements between Tourism Tasmania and Business Events Tasmania will be reviewed in the coming year. Tourism Tasmania will work in partnership with Business Events Tasmania to develop a business approach that recognises Tasmania's competitive advantages, as outlined in the DEDTA Economic Development Plan, and acknowledges the role business events play in key areas including trade, education and skilled migration.
The partnership also aims to address seasonal and regional dispersal as well as leverage business event visitation to grow the leisure market around pre and post touring and return holiday visits.