Tourism Australia happy with results from new ad campaign

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Aussie Specialists to get media play in second round of advertising

A broader package of print ads is in preparation to be rolled out alongside a second and larger burst of TV advertising, slated for September in the U.S.

The multifaceted campaign also will encompass thousands of new Aussie Specialists around the world, Scott Morrison, managing director of Tourism Australia said.

In North America that process is already under way, in an effort to give specialist numbers a hefty boost. There are 1,745 certified and 133 premier specialists in the U.S. and Canada; another 1,899 candidates are in training, and still another 2,347 have signed up.

In addition, the annual confab for specialists in the U.S. (Corroboree), usually held in Los Angeles, will bring 200 agents to Cairns in September.  --  N.G.

ADELAIDE, Australia -- Since Tourism Australia launched its So Where the Bloody Hell Are You? campaign at the beginning of March, the ads have produced the promise of an increase in tourism, based on a sharp rise in visits to Tourism Australia Web sites.

Scott Morrison, managing director of Tourism Australia, reported a 30% rise in visits to Australia.com and a 71% jump in visits to Tourism Australia Web sites when the new Sowherethebloodyhellareyou.com site is included in the count. About 700,000 people in 200 countries have downloaded and played the controversial ad, which he said tourism officials estimate amounts to about 3 million online viewers.

The ad, which appeared on various TV stations and select print media, directed viewers to the Web, so a tally of Web visits is among the first indicators of results. However, Morrison told delegates to the Australian Tourism Exchange in Adelaide that meaningful results -- that is, international arrivals and dollar yield on the business -- wont be measurable for another 12 to 18 months.

Nevertheless, there was no hiding the satisfaction among Australian tourism officials at ATE. Fran Bailey, minister for small business and tourism, said, So far, were very delighted [with response that is] well above expectations.

When asked if Tourism Australia hadnt been lucky that the ad was accepted around the world, Bailey said, We researched the campaign. We spent $6.2 million [about US$5 million], so we werent lucky.... The government has committed $180 million [about US$144 million] to this over a three-year period.

Referring to a brief U.K. ban on the ad, Bailey said, The U.K. ad council had a slight problem, but we sorted that out. We found it astounding the Germans had a better sense of humor than the British, she said.

The ad, she continued, cuts through in a market where theres a lot of clutter, to make people take notice while giving a range of experiences people can enjoy here.

To contact the reporter who wrote this article, send e-mail to Nadine Godwin at[email protected].

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