by Peter J. Bates

Monday, March 10, 2014

Innovation in Australia

While moderating the Tourism Australia Summit recently, I noted key themes emerging included digital technology and an extraordinary bounty of culinary adventures driving tourism to Australia. Tourism Australia has a reputation for innovation and thinking outside the box with an approach to marketing its destination that others in the tourism industry may want to watch and emulate.  

Technology is the preferred method of providing content to the travel industry and potential long-haul travelers, feeding them an abundance of information on experiences unique to Australia. Bloggers, digital writers and new technology leaders addressed the online/mobile approach to attracting customers. 

An innovative use of new media demonstrated how integral technology is in motivating tourists to dream — and book. Newly developed billboard capabilities recognize when a certain international flight passes overhead. The digital signage generates video of a child jumping up and seemingly pointing at the plane while the billboard displays the destination of that plane. That brand of frontline thinking highlights a new direction and elevated methods converging in travel marketing. 

And the gastronomic news from Australia is undeniable — a result of the incredibly diverse settings and expansive resources that create every experience from sophisticated dining to “bush tucker,” or Australian native bush food. Foodies seeking adventure benefit from rich seafood supplies, a natural bounty of produce by region and climate, a lush wine country and a broad spectrum of choices to suit myriad appetites. Tourism Australia responds to the nation’s obsession with food and wine with Restaurant Australia, a campaign that recognizes food tourism’s global appeal. 

One unexpected way Australia will surely attract American travelers in 2014 is the historic arrival of Major League Baseball at the legendary Sydney Cricket Ground for the first regular season games ever played in Australia, this month between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Arizona Diamondbacks. 

Attendees at the Tourism Summit were in agreement: the long haul is worth it for the rich uniqueness of Australia, and purveyors of other destinations can and should benefit as tourism is taken to new heights. 

Innovative marketing and successful creative campaigns are encouraging signs that long-haul travel to a destination like Australia is not out of reach in this recovering economy. What do you think? 

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