The Chairman of Tourism Australia, Geoff Dixon, has told a gathering of Victoria’s key major events identities that events are the ‘sizzle’ in Australia’s tourism industry. Addressing the Victoria Events Industry Council (VEIC) at a lunch hosted by KPMG, Mr Dixon spoke of Australia’s competitive advantages in attracting international visitors, particularly from China.
“Tourism Australia’s research shows that Chinese tourists are especially attracted to experiences which involve the natural environment, food and wine, and quality experiences,” he said. “Australia is rich in all of these.”
Mr Dixon went on to describe the importance of major events in stimulating not only the economy, but also a feeling of pride amongst a destination’s residents.
“The benefits of hosting major events go way beyond economic. There’s a feel good factor that comes with hosting a successful event and we’ve seen this most recently in London following the Olympic Games.”
Mr Dixon praised the industry for the resilience it had shown despite external shocks such as the high Australian dollar and difficult conditions in traditional source markets such as the United States, the United Kingdom and Europe.
“Australia is ranked 42nd in the world for arrivals, but we rank eighth in terms of tourism receipts and first for average spend by international visitors. There is a lot of hope for our industry, especially as we work to make the most of opportunities in emerging markets such as China and Indonesia.”
Tourism Australia’s understanding and execution of digital marketing campaigns was especially effective, Mr Dixon said, with Tourism Australia’s Facebook page having 3.4 million fans, and its website (www.australia.com) generating 16 million hits per year.