All posts by Chris Harrison


BYTE REPORT: Destination Australia Conference

This one-day conference was held last week at the Glasshouse in Melbourne. It is hosted by Tourism Australia and the day incorporates a snapshot of where Australian tourism is, where it is going and how businesses can become a part of Tourism Australia’s activities.

Tourism Australia (or TA) does a great job marketing Australia to the rest of the world. Its social media accounts (including Facebook and Instagram) are No #1 in the world for any destination marketing agency. With our beautiful beaches, clean air, blue skies and of course, cuddly animals and friendly folk, why wouldn’t tourists want to come to our land down under?

In the youth space, TA have recently launched Aussie News Today, a fun social media activity aimed at highlighting the interesting and fun parts of Oz in a manner more attuned to the demographic to which it is aimed – youth!!

What was learned from Buzzfeed on the day, was that social media requires a totally different mindset from traditional media in order to connect to the youth market. And it was also reiterated that relying purely on a single social media marketing strategy would be a dangerous exercise for any business intent on gaining new customers.

This market is constantly and rapidly changing and sometimes it is difficult to keep pace. However, by attending a conference of this quality, one can stay ahead of the game and have the opportunity to network and connect with like-minded people who share the same vision. Thanks TA, much learnt from this writer.

Written by Mike Barrow

Do you own or run a cafe, restaurant, historic site, retail store or museum?

Because if you do and you aren’t in Berlin at ITB then you might like to read more about current research into youth tourism. Youth visitation of your category is growing worldwide and youth tourism remains the fastest growing sector of global tourism.
Why are youth travellers important for tourism?
• 23% of international arrivals were youth travellers in 2017 
• Youth tourism totalled $280 billion in tourism receipts in 2016 
• Youth tourism is the fastest growing and most dynamic sector of global tourism
There are loads of direct and cost-effective methods for you to capture your share of this growing market (youth tourism includes independent travellers and international students, backpackers are only one small subset of youth, as are working holiday makers).
For more insights, research and details, give us a call anytime (Chris & Mike on 02 8338 0842).
Sources and thanks: WYSE Travel Confederation, Martin Milford Sydell Group
Photo credits: WYSE Travel Confederation

Dear all tourism marketing managers – perception versus reality – the overall best advertising media

… with all the data compiled and analysed there is one last tantalising league table to show – a grand prix if you will – weighting the 12 attributes to reveal the overall best advertising media.

And here it is. The perceptual table looks very familiar: the idea that TV, online video and social media represent the three leading advertising channels in 2018 would surprise few people. Even the presence of out of home in fourth spot fits with that media’s current renaissance, thanks to the growth in digital screens.

But it’s the evidence-based performance table that should stun marketers. TV retains its dominant position; it’s worth underlining that point given we continue to face dreary marketers getting on stages in their hoodies predicting the end is nigh for TV. But then look at the next top performers according to the actual performance data.

Radio and news media offer significant superiority over social media and online video on the issues that matter most to marketers. And yet radio can only hope for a flat line in terms of advertising spend this year and news media would be happy, I’ll bet, to lose 10% of its share of the advertising pie in 2018.

Meanwhile the digital revolution continues in this country. Marketers and agencies continue to move more and more of their ad spend across to social media and online video despite all the evidence to the contrary …

Full article, full repor and more reading at Marketing Week

Also read

Caveats, context and recognition:

This was a UK based study (we are in Australia), however one of our major markets is the UK and culturally our consumption of media is similar.

The Byte is owned by Travel Maps Australia, which in turn owns The Word (a form of news media, targetting tourists) and Sydney Brochure Distribution (a form of direct mail, targetting tourists). We have a vested interest in exposing this reality.

Local muralist Mulga the Artist & The Bold Collective behind Sydney Central YHA facelift

Sydney Central YHA has marked its 21st anniversary with a major redesign of the communal spaces, including a vibrant new feature wall and a bright street art masterpiece by renowned local muralist Mulga the Artist.

The maritime-themed mural is the centrepiece of the new-look level one, which has also rejuvenated the self-catering kitchen, dining room, in-house cinema and social lounge area with a total floor-to-ceiling overhaul of the common areas. The brains behind the facelift is cutting-edge Sydney design firm The Bold Collective.

Sydney Central YHA is a three-time winner (and Hall of Fame) in the Australian Tourism Awards and is housed in a heritage-listed building.

Located in the heart of the burgeoning Central Station ‘backpacker’ precinct, it includes a rooftop pool and sauna, a travel guru, a Work’n’Holiday job assistance hub, and an underground bar ‘The Reef‘.

More information and images at Sydney Central YHA


Tourism ad that aired during Super Bowl was ‘value for money’, Minister Ciobo

A multi-million-dollar tourism advertisement featuring Chris Hemsworth and an alternative Crocodile Dundee was being touted by the Federal Government as a huge success, only hours after it aired in the US during half-time in the Super Bowl.

Key points:

  • Government won’t say how much the Super Bowl ad spot cost, but a slot can cost up to $US50m Tourism Australia says ad was aiming to get back to Paul Hogan’s 1980s message, the Trade Minister dismisses concerns about cultural stereotypes within the ad
  • The taxpayer-funded trailer for a mock sequel of the 1980s film franchise featured some of Australia’s most prominent actors including Russell Crowe, Margot Robbie, Hugh Jackman and the Hemsworth brothers.
  • Trade Minister Steve Ciobo has dismissed concerns about cultural stereotypes and argued the ad represents value for money, claiming it has been watched by more than 100 million Americans and generated $30 million in free media.

One reason for this is many Americans believed the mock trailer was legitimate, sparking a number of articles speculating about its success.

Mr Ciobo would not say how much it cost to book the prime-time spot but said the advertisement was part of a $36 million campaign. “What matters is the dollar value of the campaign, [which is] $36 million over two years, and we’ve already got that back in spades,” Mr Ciobo said.  It is not known how much the high-profile actors were paid to take part in the 60-second advertisement, although Mr Ciobo said they had agreed to work for their minimum wage. “It’s the ultimate in mate’s rates,” Tourism Australia’s managing director John O’Sullivan said.

“What matters in a heavily media-dominated market like America is that you get cut-through,” Mr Ciobo said. “This has been the most talked-about advertisement out of all of the Super Bowl commercials.” Mr O’Sullivan said there was a deliberate strategy to go back to 1980s depictions of Australia. “What we’re trying to do in this campaign is get back to the ‘come say g’day’ ads that Paul Hogan did in the mid-1980s,” he said.

“Showing the parts of Australia that Americans know, our beautiful scenery, our great food and wine, but also introducing the element of friendly Australians and larrikin humour. “We know that’s what resonates with the American consumer.” Mr O’Sullivan said the Super Bowl advertisement allowed the campaign to hit 50 per cent of its target market in “one fell swoop”.

“This franchise was so powerful in selling Australia bank in the 1980s … [it] was exactly what we wanted,” he said. Mr O’Sullivan said the agency had a $15 million partnership with NBC studios to produce the advertisement. Slightly more than 750,000 Americans visited Australia last year, spending $3.7 billion while they were here. The Federal Government wants this tourism campaign to increase that spend to $6 billion by 2020.

The campaign also includes a series of light-hearted online videos called Why Australia where Danny McBride chats ‘US talk show’ style with Chris Hemsworth, Curtis Stone, Matt Wright and Jessica Mauboy. Filmed on set, the four well-known Australians provide personal perspectives and unique insights on Australia’s food and wine, nature and wildlife, aquatic and coastal experiences, culture and heritage and sport and events.

To convert interest into bookings, Tourism Australia has also published tailored travel itineraries and inspiring destination information on supported with a dedicated campaign ‘marketplace’ which includes airfare and tailored holiday offers from 20 campaign partners, all aimed at encouraging Americans to book a trip Down Under.

All of Australia’s states and territories are featured in the campaign with locations, products and experiences carefully chosen to resonate most strongly with high value American travellers looking to experience Australia.

To explore all the elements of the campaign, please visit

Mr Ciobo said he was confident the media attention generated by the commercial would encourage more Americans to visit Australia.

What do you think? Value for money? Have your say!

Source: ABC