(Australian Associated Press)
Images of Australia’s most beloved wildlife should be coupled with country-specific messaging for Australia’s tourism marketing efforts in light of the bushfire crisis, experts say.
Dr Ulku Yuksel, a senior lecturer in marketing at The University of Sydney told AAP the $76 million Tourism Recovery Package is an important investment in one of Australia’s most essential industries, but it needs to be spent wisely.
“Tourism is an important economical earner for Australia and money from service industries such as this are only going to be more important in the future as we move away depending on industries such as mining, ” Dr Yuksel said.
The federal government increased its focus on tourism investment on Saturday with specific, targeted funding.
Headed by Tourism Australia, funding includes a $20 million domestic marketing campaign, $25 million funding boost towards an international marketing campaign, $9.5 million for international media hosting and $6.5 million for the organisation’s largest tourism event, the Australian Tourism Exchange.
Dr Yuksel said the current international media coverage, although negatively focused, could create a stronger platform for future advertising campaigns.
“The world’s attention is now on Australia,” she said.
“People are very aware and are more alert to Australia so any message after the bushfires could be good to keep people’s attention.”
Dr Yuksel said image sharing on social media has been one of the major detriments for Australian tourism, stating animals are essential for a healthy tourism economy in the future.
“Australia does not need a more famous celebrity in their advertising than a kangaroo or a koala,” she said.
“The right advertising is about the right research and people are very sensitive towards animals.”
“If they think something might become extinct, they will want to visit Australia.”
Dr Yuksel said cultural differences also need to be considered, with vital research undertaken to learn what attract other countries to Australia.
According to data from Sydney Airport released on Monday, there was a decrease in travellers both locally, and from USA, UK, Canada and Japan for the month of December.