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Digital Tourism Development - Longreach Regional Tourism by Kevin Liepins

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A Case Study - Tourism for Tomorrow Spotlight Session, SEGRA 2017

Published in: Travel
  • Great to share the case study of developing a Digital Tourism strategy for Longreach Region in 2015-16. Thanks to Angus at Leisure Solutions for add the presentation to his website.
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Digital Tourism Development - Longreach Regional Tourism by Kevin Liepins

  1. 1. TOURISM OF TOMOR R OW S E G R A C o n f e r e n c e 2 0 1 7 P o r t A u g u s t a C a s e S t u d y : D i g i t a l To u r i s m D e v e l o p m e n t L o n g r e a c h R e g i o n a l To u r i s m K e v i n L i e p i n s D e s t i n a t i o n D e v e l o p m e n t S o l u t i o n s
  2. 2. OUTLINE BACKGROUND STRATEGY IMPLEMENTATION OUTCOMES Need for tourism growth VisitLongreach.com Facebook You Tube VIC focus 24/7 Appointment of Tourism Development Officer 63% Yearly increase in page visitors + 4 video’s Digital analysis Increased engagement operators & visitors & stronger branding Longreach Region Digital Tourism Strategy Digital Tourism Workshop Web & Video Development Marketing Campaign Outback Fiesta Research & Benchmarking
  3. 3. Background Informa tion
  4. 4. Over 35 years experience as a Tourism Development Officer Kevin Liepins Professional Background Queensland – TEQ, Brisbane, Logan, Scenic Rim & Outback UK – London Tourist Board Nottingham City Council Development of tourism plans, projects & new events Tourism consultant in Destination & Tourism Development Specialist Areas
  5. 5. Located 1200km North West of Brisbane , Longreach is at the heart of Queensland's outback Longreach Region Visitor Profile 2012 figures 161,000 overnight & day visitors 348,000 nights 3.1 nights per visit 80% arrive by road 73% + 45 years $41 million expenditure per yr. 2 international standard visitor attractions 2 river cruises
  6. 6. Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame & Qantas Founders Museum Longreach Key Attractions
  7. 7. Outback Pioneers Stagecoach Ride & two sunset river cruises. Longreach Key Attractions
  8. 8. Situational background - 2015 Longreach Regional Council possessed limited digital capabilities 1. • Council had limited trust over digital sources 2. • LGA & Tourism websites separate 3. • No Facebook presence 4. • No digital management internally
  9. 9. Destination Audit Concluded poor digital tourism presence Focus “Identify opportunities for strengthening & growing tourism & events in the Longreach region” Role and Investment in Tourism Report 2014 Review 1: Need for Tourism growth July 2015 Appointment of Tourism Development Officer Focus on development of product & market opportunities 1. 2. 3.
  10. 10. Mixed Brand Messages Content posted was not up to date & lacking good imagery. Ineffective LGA Websites Tourism website was outdated & not mobile compatible. Content not applicable to modern audience Digital tourism usage & benchmarking other destinations Review 1: Destination Audit – Desk Research Lack of Social Media Presence No regional Facebook page or videos 1. 2. 3. Hard to obtain regional information Limited engagement Confused consumers
  11. 11. The development of the digital tourism strategy focused on progressing through 6 key stages. Digital Tourism Strategy Research Benchmarking Training Development Launch & marketing campaign Review outcomes
  12. 12. Queensland Government report ‘Consumer Tourism & Reviews in Queensland 2014’ Highlighted the need to develop good imagery. Review Consumer Perception Inconsistency “Consumer perception of Outback QLD did not align with destination market positioning” Visitor posts were of ancient landscapes & endless roads” NOT Destination imagery of “Colorful characters; fossils; quirky events”
  13. 13. Simmering sunsets The road less travelled Examples of social media postings by visitors to Outback Queensland Visitor Social Media
  14. 14. Iconic outback imagery used in new website to better connect with visitors Review Outcomes
  15. 15. Digita l Tourism Development S tra tegy
  16. 16. Strategy Development Development Focus Areas Benchmarking Identify priorities Budget Staffing Timeline Website Facebook Instagram Video Wi-Fi in VIC Training Longreach Region Digital Tourism Development Strategy End 2015 to Oct 2016
  17. 17. Implementation Timeline 2016 Aug – Oct New imagery shoot. Engaged local photographer 2016 March - April Nov 2015 – Jan 2016 2015 Sep - Oct Development of site – key words; script; imagery; testing Council elections. Re-focus on digital communications Four videos shot for YouTube channel Review of campaign TV, radio, print & digital marketing campaign Selection & appointment web design company Benchmarking review. Digital Coaching International VisitLongreach.com & 2016 visitor guide launched Digital VIC officer 1.5-2 days a week
  18. 18. Measure the digital footprint & capability in the Longreach tourism region Step One: Digital Benchmark Report Liz Ward Former CEO of Australia Tourism Data Warehouse. CEO Digital Coaching International & Tourism Tribe Brief Analyse the digital assets, websites & social media of 21 local businesses & destinations Aim Provide research to aid development of a digital tourism strategy
  19. 19. The report highlighted that Longreach region & businesses lacked digital competencies Report Outcomes No best practice example within region Only 17 of the 22 businesses & destinations reviewed had a website to evaluate Benchmarking Witches’ Falls Cottages Gold Coast Hinterland 18 on Facebook 13 using Trip Advisor 2 using Instagram 4 with YouTube videos
  20. 20. Analysis of digital trends indicated importance of digital media for travellers & aspiring visitors Digital Consumer Trends 85% Leisure travelers use search engines via smart phones to find destination information Source: ThinkwithGoggle.com (2014) Since 2015 Google penalises websites in their search rankings if their website is not mobile friendly. 95% of Australians use social media & 50% access every day Source: Sensis Social Media Report 2014 & 15 45-54 year age bracket is the fastest growing demographic on Facebook 33% change choice based on reviews 50% won’t book accommodation with zero review Source: World Travel & Tourism Council 65+ age group use of social media increased from 32% to 39% 2014-15 Source: Sensis Social Media Report 2015 Outcome These powerful statistics highlighted the importance of a digital tourism strategy to connect with the target market
  21. 21. Outcomes Operators updated their websites & increased social media engagement Aimed at educating operators importance of digital presence Action– Workshop Digital Coaching International 5 tourism businesses & 2 VIC staff ‘Live’ review of websites’ & Tutorials Focus “To highlight the importance of online reviews & how to adapt a strategy to grow business”
  22. 22. www.visitlongreach.com New website created to increase consumer engagement & provide up-to-date travel information Action 2: Website Redesign Selected relevant imagery and key words Transferred and updated tourist information Mobile/iPad compatible Benchmarking of websites • Visit Scenic Rim • Central Highlands Launched April 2016
  23. 23. A professional production company was engaged to produce a video of the region highlighting its natural beauty to further engage consumers Action 2: Video Production 5 day shoot incorporating drone imagery Four videos Regional overview Heritage - Nature - Regions Operators fully engaged & able to use imagery Overview Experienced “The Great South East” TV
  24. 24. Drone Video clip of Longreach Region
  25. 25. October 2016 was rebranded as ‘Outback October Fiesta’ month Action 3: High profile promotional campaign linked to new event month ImplicationsOverview Events Linked across month Ballet – Concert – Picnic Races Colour Run – Parade Longreach for laughs Objective to Extend season High profile TV, radio, print & digital marketing campaign Sept - Oct 2016
  26. 26. Instagram Online & Print Ads To promote region to urban & coastal areas Used to engage directly with visitors TV & Radio Campaign Utilised Channel 7 & 4KQ channels as high ‘Grey Nomad’ usage Instagram
  27. 27. A 4KQ radio competition was also used to increase traffic to the website www.visitlongreach.com.au Marketing Activities Consumer call to action
  28. 28. Key Ta kea wa ys
  29. 29. Immediate & significant customer engagement with the target market. Outcomes +154% Page views +397% users 142% VIC visitation Web traffic increases 3 months pre/post launch
  30. 30. New website a year on April 2016 – April 2017 Outcomes +25% Page views up to 12,696 +63% In total visitors to 3,608 1,400 YouTube views in 4 videos 6,900 Trip Advisor Reviews 500 Facebook likes
  31. 31. Key Takeaways On-going budget provision for digital activities Digital Tourism Strategy separate from Council Need for a digital management structure Internal Adoption of destination website by industry Time limitations Need for training External
  32. 32. Three pieces of advice for launching your own tourism digital strategy Key Takeaways 1. 2. 3.
  33. 33. www.visitlongreach.com Legacy Visit Longreach You Tube introduction video
  34. 34. THANK YOU K e v i n L i e p i n s D e s t i n a t i o n D e v e l o p m e n t S o l u t i o n s
  35. 35. Introduction to Longreach Region You Tube Video

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