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Self Drive and Geotourism: Peter Homan


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The face of tourism has been changing; consumers are seeking experiences that offer an emotive connection rather than just a transaction experience. This is particularly evident with the younger generation.

Tourists are now venturing off the beaten track to see more nature - based experiences that can be shared on social media. The trend is particularly evident when considering geologically rich places with interesting landscapes or rock formations. In the outback, we have a wide range of outstanding landscapes and sculptures to promote to this new breed of traveller. Our focus is to provide access and knowledge of our wonderful natural assets to a technologically savvy marketplace. OQTA’s 2020 vison is to highlight four key themes and hero experiences in the outback: Paleotourism, Outback Adventures, Heritage and Locals and Outback Events – promoting the natural gorges, lookouts, parks, scenic flights, Aboriginal rock art and drives. OQTA see the potential to join this vision, by creating and promoting self-drive itineraries with the focus on geotourism attractions.

We see an opportunity to build self-drive itineraries that focus on the hero experiences .This will drive the consumer preference of finding these remarkable natural offerings and target markets that are time poor. There are many niche markets that are accessible and make marketing more value driven as well as targeting more engaged audiences. For example: Twitchers; Snailers; agri-tourists; wildlife lovers; cultural and heritage to name a few. This is what will drive tourism in to the future and fits so well with Geotourism.

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Self Drive and Geotourism: Peter Homan

  1. 1. OQTA Geotourism and Self Drive Live Australia’s Story
  2. 2. Live Australia’s story Go on, get out there and live. Make a connection you’ll feel deep in your heart and soul. Let it get under your skin, hit you in the guts and knock your dusty socks off. Come on, get to know this place, this very big place, and you’ll know what Australia is all about. You might just learn a few things about yourself, too. Outback Queensland has so many stories to tell and share about the history of our country, the spirit of our nation and what it means to be Australian. So come on, get out there and live them all. Live Australia’s story in Outback Queensland. And you know what, the best stories are yet to be written, told and remembered forever. OUR BRAND POSITION
  3. 3. OUR OPPORTUNITY Research tells us we are a desired destination (even more desired than our beachy counterparts) A visit to Outback Queensland is seen as a birthright For Australians, visiting the Outback is seen as experiencing their culture 1. 2. 3. So, our visitors have a reason to come — it’s marketing’s job to make them come today not “one-day.”
  4. 4. OUR CHALLENGE More complex challenges aside (accessibility, price, product development) — we have a few easy fixes:We’re confused by who our audience is Our budgets are finite and need to be spent strategically, not sporadically 1. 2. We have many (MANY) stakeholders who sometimes work against each other rather than together 3.
  5. 5. OUR SOLUTION: Get clear on our target audience so our messages don’t get lost in the market. 1. Ensure a consistent message is told OQTA, region, council and every operator. 2.
  6. 6. “Everyone is not your customer.” Seth Godin
  7. 7. Holiday visitors to the Outback make up LESS THAN 40% of all visitors Business visitors are the big one and make up MORE THAN 40% of all visitorsFrom a marketing perspective, our focus remains on growing the holiday market, in particular: 1. Intrastate visitors 2. Interstate visitors NOTE: OQTA ONLY MARKETS TO HOLIDAY VISITORS CAVEAT: All Outback tourism data uses three year averages to increase data integrity. The information provided is not absolute and the impact of outliers should always be considered. SO, WHO VISITS THE OUTBACK?
  8. 8. Intrastate Interstate Length of Stay More than 60% of intrastate visitors stay for 3 nights or less. Think: weekends. Almost 5% of interstate holiday visitors stay in the Outback for 4 nights or more. Type of Stay Just on 60% of all intrastate holiday visitors make only one stop when holidaying in the Outback. 70% make only one or two stops. Almost 50% of all interstate holiday visitors make 4 or more stops when travelling in the Outback. 18% will take 8 or more stops. Age 60% of all intrastate visitors are under 60 years of age. Almost 70% of interstate holiday visitors are 50 years of age or more. Think: caravans. Segment Older families SINKS/DINKS Empty Nester How we should talk to them We should be delivering:  48 hour guides  A weekend in …  Event guides  Boys trips/girls trips  School holiday content We should be delivering:  X places to pull up your caravan  Your ultimate road trip itinerary  How to see every major town in the Outback in 14 days.
  9. 9. SCORE 4 or 5 These are strategic segments and will form the basis of most marketing activity. These segments have the highest potential for results and yield, and should be the focus of the current strategy. SINKS/DINK S Young Families Older Families Empty Nesters In-market Intrastate Interstate In-market Intrastate Interstate In-market Intrastate Interstate In-market Intrastate Interstate Weekend Getaway 1–3 nights 4 5 1 2 2 5 2 1 5 2 Short Breaks 4–7nights 4 5 4 3 4 3 4 5 5 5 5 Real Holiday 8–14 nights 2 1 1 4 5 5 4 Travel 15+ nights 1 4 1 MARKET SEGMENTS
  10. 10. LETS DIVE INTO INTRASTATE TRENDS Over the last five years, the Outback has grown this market faster than the Queensland state and national average Research suggests the rapid growth of the last five years may have peaked. Intrastate has always been the strongest market for the Outback 1. 2. 3. EY TAKE OUT: Slowing growth in visitors and nights over next 12-24 months. We need t ignite growth.
  11. 11. LETS DIVE INTO INTERSTATE TRENDS The Outback has outperformed both the state and national growth rates over the last five years in this market. Importantly, the entire State had 2.5 million fewer Interstate Holiday visitor nights than it did ten years ago. Queensland as a whole has dropped off in this market. 1. 2. 3. Y TAKE OUT: Slowing growth in visitors and possible negative growth in nights in next 12 months.
  12. 12. LETS DIVE INTO INTERNATIONAL TRENDS This isn’t in isolation though - Queensland as a whole had fewer Western Holiday visitors in 2017 than it did ten years ago. We are not attracting the Western markets we used to. Importantly, Western Markets make up virtually all the international visitors to the Outback Over the past 10 years, the Outback has seen its International Holiday visitor numbers decline 1. 2. 3. KEY TAKE OUT: Continuing decline in visitors and nights with the potential for long-term market damage.
  13. 13. Harry & Alice: Empty Nesters Harry and Alice love to travel. As they have travelled around the country in their caravan, they’ve seen some beautiful country and made some really great friends. They’ve been to the Outback four or five times now and it gets better every time. Just lately though, they’ve realised that they’re not getting any younger with Alice not being well and Harry struggling a little with the caravan and all. Now they’re not going away for as long as they used too, or travelling as far as they’d like. Still, they have really enjoyed their travels and have some great memories. It was always about the journey, the people and the experience. Pulling up by the side the road somewhere near Whoop Whoop, having a cup of tea and just seeing who stopped for a chat. Maybe they’d spend the afternoon in the caravan park just chatting and comparing notes with other “grey nomads” – not that they liked the term. It was a simple way to travel and wasn’t too expensive – they have to watch their pennies. Fuel and the car were the big costs. They could always grab some fresh fruit and vege from a local stall and even some of those great farm fresh eggs and enjoy a lovely meal around a campfire with new mates. Every now and then they might splurge and have a countery at the local pub or even a nice restaurant in the nearby motel. Maybe one more little trip next year…
  14. 14. Harry & Alice: Empty Nesters Grey Nomads  Numerous stopovers and long length of stay in the Outback, so long drives.  Much higher proportion of interstate visitors.  It’s about the journey and meeting people  Low yield due to low use of accommodation and lower use of attractions etc.  The pace of decline in this market will increase in next 3-5 years.
  15. 15. The Boys, The Girls = LINKS The Boys They love the bush. It’s been their home all their lives —it’s where they went to school, played footy and had the best times. It’s getting harder now though — finding work and all. Even the good times can be hard to find as there is never a lot on. Mostly they need to jump in the car and head off for a few hours down the road to a nearby town to find a new band playing, or cruise over to a party where they can crash on the floor. Every now and then there might even be a festival of some kind or even a rodeo that’s only 3–4 hours drive — not far in the bush! The Girls It’s not the city — but you can pretend! There’s not a lot to do so they make their own fun. Maybe just catching up with the rest of the girls for a chat over a wine, or maybe head off to a party a few hours away where you know the boys will be and maybe a decent band. There’s a new restaurant in town and it has great food.
  16. 16. The Boys, The Girls = LINKS LINKS (Locals with Income and No Kids = SINKs + DINKs)  Essentially intrastate visitors; 400– 500km radius.  It’s about the destination and doing something ‘different’; adding a little excitement.  Lower yield due to low use of accommodation or lower end accommodation plus lower use of attractions, etc.  Higher yield through consumption of food and beverage.  Volatile market as requires ‘different’ experience drawcard and will be impacted over time by decline in numbers of young people migrating from rural regions nationally.  Only one stopover normally and short stays (1-2/3 nights) normally within 3–4 hour drive.
  17. 17. The Hart Family: Older Families Their little babies are nearly grown up. Not long to go now! They went to Europe last year for a family holiday and had a great time. So much to see and do! This time it’s different. It may be the last holiday as the “family” unit so it has to be special. Something they can remember forever. It would be nice to avoid the hustle and bustle of the city (like Europe!) so they can focus on each other and discover new things about themselves and the world. Maybe get in touch with what it means to be Australian — maybe the outback. It will need ten days at least — maybe a fortnight. It would have to be planned out carefully as nobody wants to get lost. There’s a bit of driving so the route has to be thought through so they can cover the best things and break up the journey. The planning would be part of the fun and adventure. We may only do it once so we want to do it right!
  18. 18. The Hart Family: Older Families  There are more interstate holiday visitors in this group than intrastate.  Looking for transformation experiences.  It’s about the adventure and discovery of ALL the Outback: their perspective. Only ONE experience — the “Outback”!  Higher household income/disposable income.  Higher yield as use higher end accommodation; keen on tours and activities that educate and inform; like to eat out and enjoy dining.  Strong latent potential as missing connection to right information — Outback doesn’t scare them, they just don’t know what brand story and how.  Multiple stopovers with short stays: however accept the notion of a 10– 14 day travel and that they may need to go back again another day. Empty Nesters & Older Families
  19. 19. WHAT’S NEXT FOR OQTA We need to get online with a bookable website We need to lead a digital marketing strategy that affords greater transparency and can be more targeted 2. 3. Together, we’ll drive greater conversion We need to respond to this new audience research through increased marketing efforts 1.
  20. 20. HOW WE’LL DO IT GROW OUR OWN PLATFORMS. We’re already our own Outback Newswire through Facebook and The Blog. We’ll grow these audiences so we talk to more people through these channels. Target only our CORE AUDIENCES through marketing efforts Ensure all marketing efforts are tied to one of our CONTENT PILLARS. 1. 2. 3.
  21. 21. OQTA is currently growing:  Facebook  Instagram  Twitter  YouTube  Email Database (consumer/media/trade)  Website visits (including time spent on site) 1. Grow our own platforms
  23. 23.  Consumers arenow seeking experiences that offer an emotive connection rather than just a transaction experience  Travellers areno longer satisfied with superficial tourist activities andinstead arein search of a more in-depth experience ofa destination  Geotourism is tourism that enhances the geographical character ofa place - its environment, culture, aesthetics, heritage, andthe well-being of residents Geotourism
  24. 24.  Authenticityan increasingvalued commodityintourism,agrowingnumberoftouristsseektoimmerse themselvesinlocalenvironmentsorasmanytermit ‘livelikea local’,whichOutbackQueenslandtownshaveaimedtoembrace  Geotourismhasgreatpotential like nichemarketstobe ahighvaluetourismactivity  Geotourismisabout deliveringhighquality localexperienceswhichencouragereturnvisitationand attractnewcustomersthroughwordofmouth  By showinglocalexperiences,visitorsbringthisnewknowledge home withthem; tellingstoriesthat promptrelativesandfriendsto visittoget that qualitymemorableexperience Geotourism
  25. 25. 3. Talk to our core audiences SCORE 4 or 5 These are strategic segments and will form the basis of most marketing activity. These segments have the highest potential for results and yield, and should be the focus of the current strategy. SINKS/DIN KS Young Families Older Families Empty Nesters In-market Intrastate Interstate In-market Intrastate Interstate In-market Intrastate Interstate In-market Intrastate Interstate Weekend Getaway 1–3 nights 4 5 1 2 2 5 2 1 5 2 Short Breaks 4–7nights 4 5 4 3 4 3 4 5 5 5 5 Real Holiday 8–14 nights 2 1 1 4 5 5 4 Travel 15+ nights 1 4 1 Anyone who scored a 4 or a 5
  26. 26. “Marketing without data is like driving with your eyes closed.” Dan Zarella
  27. 27. Our digital strategy will respond to these audiences That’s why we’re changing our marketing to be data-driven and digital-only. Our audiences are now large enough to conduct audits with stability and confidence. So: IfyouliveinAdelaide– you shouldreceivemarketingmaterials androadtripideasthatstartandstopinAdelaide. Ifyou’veconsideredan Outbackholiday,remindersshouldfollowyouaroundtheinternetuntilyou book. Ifyoucampfrequently,weshouldn’tbesendingyouinformationaboutmotels, weshould besendingyouinformationaboutcampsites. We have the data. We know who they are. We can be more targeted.
  28. 28. Content marketing produces brand recall = ACTION HOW IT WORKS
  29. 29. Peter Homan GM Outback Queensland Tourism Association M: 0438 394 492 E: QUESTIO