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4 Key Digital Marketing Takeaways from Victoria’s 2020 Tourism Strategy

Posted on the 01 August 2013 by Onqmarketing @onqmarketing

Tourism Victoria this week released its 2020 Tourism Strategy, and it’s no surprise that a key priority is achieving ‘Digital Excellence’ through an increased focus on digital marketing and the online space.

The vision is for Victoria to be the leading tourism destination in the Asia Pacific region, providing a range of experiences that support both aspirations and culture of strong growth markets including China, India and Indonesia.

In line with the national tourism strategy, the aim is to grow overnight tourism expenditure to $24.7 billion by 2020.

There are seven key priorities including but not limited to Digital Excellence, International and Domestic Marketing plus Major and Business Events.
Below are my four takeaways from a digital marketing perspective:

The consumer loves to research online

‘Seventy-one per cent of international overnight visitors in 2012 used the internet for research and 53 per cent booked at least one component of their trip online…’
Among other countries, Aussies are increasingly using technology to access travel information and this is why your website should be the cornerstone of your marketing efforts. Apart from the ability to instantly update your content and product offering, it is important to ensure that your website is optimised for viewing and search engine performance. A healthy website should:

• Be responsive in design, or at the very least optimised for visits from a range of mobile devices and tablets
• Display your content in a visually pleasing and concise manner with a clear call to action
• Utilise Google Analytics to track and trace what is working and what is not
• Employ SEO (search engine optimisation) tactics to increase your visibility in search engines
• Undertake conversion testing to drive your future marketing strategy
• Integrate with key social media platforms, review platforms and marketing campaigns

They have a thirst for interaction

‘Consumers no longer want to simply view information. They want to interact and share their experiences through social media… This trend is likely to continue which will result in less focus on destination websites and more emphasis in interacting with the social media community…’
Choosing the right platform
The Strategy identifies Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest as key social media platforms; however Google+, Instagram and YouTube should not be overlooked in your digital marketing strategy. Google+ can play a key role in search engine ranking for your business, YouTube is widely known as the second largest search engine behind Google, while Instagram boasts 130 million users worldwide who have shared over 16 billion photos to date*


It is important to carefully consider which social media platforms are relevant to your business and set about creating a strategy rather than shooting in the dark. A poorly planned and managed social media strategy can hurt your brand and dampen your spirits.
Creating the right content
The aim of course is to timely create content that will engage your audience, encourage them to share it, and ultimately to book and recommend your services. The word ‘travel’ should evoke warm feelings, emotions and excitement, and so too should your social media content.

Take heed from some of the successful tourism companies on social media and identify what type of approach is working for them. Tourism Australia found Facebook success by engaging millions of fans simply by asking them to share their Australia travel photos, which subsequently led to the development of a number of successful Facebook apps for the brand.

See Australia Facebook page
See Australia Facebook app
Use tools like Facebook Insights, Google+ Dashboard and Google Analytics to monitor your progress and adjust your strategy accordingly.

They love their mobiles

‘New consumer channels are playing a significant role in the marketing, planning, purchase and on-ground experience of travel destinations by Victoria’s visitors. It is now part of visitors’ expectations that mobile applications are available to access content and share their experiences with friends while on holiday, using social media…’
Forty-five per cent of mobile phone users utilise their phone for navigation, 34 per cent access social networking and the propensity of people to provide recommendations and reviews is growing.’
Consider your travel app options
A new mobile travel app seems to enter the travel market every day. Depending on your objectives, building a mobile travel app should not be reserved purely for the industry heavyweights.

With substantial consideration and planning a simple mobile app can get enhance the user experience for existing and potential customers, while creating more attention and chatter around your brand.

If building a mobile app is not on the agenda consider a rebranded travel app solution like MTrip and ensure that you are capitalising on promotional opportunities with existing mobile apps. For example, refine your Trip Advisor listing for people who use the Trip Advisor app to search and book travel.
MTRIP – Mobile Apps for Tourism and Travel Operators
Get your Free Trip Advisor Apps

They are seeking unique experiences

‘As international travel becomes more accessible, travellers are increasingly seeking unique and authentic experiences. Overseas destinations continue to outperform domestic holidays on both a rational and emotional basis. There will be a focus on developing and promoting unique experiences on offer in Victoria, to both the international and domestic markets.’
This is something we have all known for a while now, and many operators have made the move toward offering experiences that new or unique. The challenge then becomes effectively marketing those experiences to the right audience.

Don’t know what to say here.

The report states that ‘while ambitious, realising the directions of the Strategy will contribute to achieving the potential of the tourism sector.’

We think that implementing ‘Digital Excellence’ across the board will go a long way toward achieving the vision of the Strategy and make Australia a more accessible, influential and inspiring travel destination for all.
Looking forward
Tourism Victoria’s short term goals including expanding their online and social media presence in both Australia and China, as well as developing a mobile phone and tablet application/website. Keep your eyes open for opportunities to promote your business via these channels.

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