Australia puts ad campaign on Web

NEW YORK--The Australian Tourist Commission launched what it believes is the first Internet advertising campaign by a national tourist organization.

Banner ads are appearing on 54 Web sites and four search engines through February at a cost of $300,000. The ads link consumers to ATC's site at www.australia.com and to its travel club.

By joining the ATC's travel club, formed last March and displayed on its first pages, consumers can get information on special packages. Information on browsers who join is referred to two Aussie Specialist travel agents in their area.

"The program is another step in our integrated marketing effort, not only to bring people to Australia but to strengthen our Aussie Specialist relationships," said Lyndel Gray, ATC's regional director for the Americas.

"Our strategy is to drive people to the Web site so they can get a virtual experience and find out who can help them book," she said.

ATC has about 1,500 Aussie Specialist agents who complete the ATC certification course and pay an annual fee. ATC said the sites chosen for ads are geared to five cities: New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Toronto and Vancouver, British Columbia.

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