Travel Weeklys Asia-Pacific E-letter: March 16, 2006

AUSTRALIAS new tourism marketing campaign has been banned from British TV because of its use of the term bloody hell, which British advertising regulators find offensive. The slang is part of Australias $60 million international tourism push, which asks prospective visitors Where the Bloody Hell Are You? in a commercial promoting the countrys beaches, outback and culture, among other things. In response to the ban, Tourism Australia took out ads in British newspapers directing readers to the uncensored version on the Internet at www.wherethebloodyhellareyou.com. Britain is Australias most lucrative market, accounting for more than 700,000 visitors last year, according to Tourism Australia.

THE CAMPAIGN, and its controversial invitation, is scheduled to kick off on TV in the U.S. during an episode of ABCs Lost on March 22. It also will begin appearing in print media in April. Its available for viewing now on www.australia.com. The new campaign is distinctively Australian, said Scott Morrison, managing director of Tourism Australia in a statement. In an increasingly competitive and tough commercial environment we must be bold, aggressive and distinctive to win the business, Morrison added. But we also must be credible -- we must be true to what we are as a destination and focus on why the world loves us. Tourism Australia spent $6.2 million testing the new campaign in its top seven tourism markets through the use of focus groups and market research. The agency is hailing it as a worthy successor to the familiar TV ads of the 80s with actor Paul Hogan, of Crocodile Dundee fame, urging viewers to visit Australia and throw another shrimp on the barbie.

PACIFIC DELIGHT WORLD TOURS said its pulling out all the stops with its new 13-night, all-inclusive Vietnam, Cambodia and Bangkok Gold Vistas package, a fully-escorted tour limited to 16 customers that visits the major attractions in each destination, includes opportunities for plenty of interaction with locals and features the areas top hotels. Twenty-one departures are scheduled between April 2006 and March 2007, with prices starting at $5,548 per person, double, including roundtrip air fare on Cathay Pacific from New York (Kennedy), Los Angeles or San Francisco. Also included are meals, sightseeing, motorcoach transportation and the services of a tour guide. For information or reservations, call (800) 221-7179 or visit www.pacificdelighttours.com.

RITZ TOURS launched the Grand Yangtze Summer Saver promotion for select departures in July and August. The promotion is priced from $1,399 per person, double, including roundtrip air fare from Los Angeles, hotel accommodations and a nine-day (upstream) Yangtze River cruise with Victoria Cruises. Following the cruise, customers spend one night in Chongqing. The downstream version of the tour features a seven-night river cruise and two nights in Shanghai for $1,499. All tours include air fare, intra-China flights, sightseeing, meals, entertainment and the services of a guide. For information or reservations, call (800) 900-2446 or visit www.ritztours.com.

AIR BYTES:

" Taiwan carrier EVA Air said it will boost its summer flight schedule to Taipei from Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle starting later this month. On March 27, EVA will increase its Los Angeles-Taipei service from 14 to 17 flights a week; on June 6, EVA will launch a weekly Seattle-Taipei flight; and on June 14, the airline will increase service between San Francisco and Taipei from 11 to 12 flights a week.

" China Southern Airlines said it plans to be more aggressive in selling tickets through online agencies and will improve its in-house e-ticketing system this year, with a goal of achieving 100% Internet ticketing by the end of 2007. The largest airline in China, China Southern said approximately 15% of its sales were generated online last year.

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