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PATA Annual Conference

Tourism campaigns must include the locals

Award-winning marketing experts from the tourism sector told 54th PATA Annual Conference delegates in Macau that successful marketing campaigns need widespread buy…

Award-winning marketing experts from the tourism sector told 54th PATA Annual Conference delegates in Macau that successful marketing campaigns need widespread buy-in from stakeholders outside the industry, otherwise the campaign will fail.



Tourism Australia Director of International Marketing Mr Richard Beere told delegates that stakeholders meant local communities, the media, government officials, the business community, the travel trade and staff of the tourism body carrying out the campaign who have to believe it too.



A campaign must be built on certain truths about the country that everyone agrees upon. All stakeholders must be included,
he said. The final ad is only one outcome in a long process.



Mr Rob Giason, Chief Executive of Tourism Tasmania, which won a 2005 PATA Gold Award for its Short Breaks marketing campaign, said that states within a country sometimes had to compromise to fit in with national branding.



The Short Breaks campaign, which Mr Giason described as small and cheeky, invited Melbourne residents to get lost in Tasmania and to leave the state of Victoria and come back in a better one. The provocative adverts caused a lot of public debate, much of it on talk-back radio, which added to public awareness. The US$185,000 campaign increased interstate arrivals from Victoria by 64%.



The Korea National Tourism Organization (KNTO) decided one message did not fit all and created different campaigns such as Dramatic Encounter and Friendly Neighbour to increase international visitor arrivals from China, Japan and Southeast Asia by over 30% in 2004.



Ms Kay Sung, Director of International Relations Team at the KNTO said the Korean Wave campaign tried to reposition Korea as more exciting than a movie. (Previous campaigns had described the destination as the land of morning calm.) Korea targeted younger travellers, especially females, by using celebrities and locations from Korean soap operas famous across East Asia.



Indian tourism authorities spent US$25 million from the Japan Bank of International Construction to upgrade the Ajanta Ellora Buddhist cave complex. The project is now being used as a prototype in other heritage areas in India. Mr Amitabh Kant, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, said it took one year and 45 visits to the site to get local shop owners, villagers, taxi drivers and guides to agree to the initiative.



All panelists in the session said the campaigns would not have worked if stakeholders had not been included from the start. The theme of the 54th PATA Annual Conference in Macau is Connecting Tourism`s Stakeholders.

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