Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Attracting and Keeping Visitors

Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Attracting and Keeping Visitors

Article excerpt

Byline: David Phillips GM Mackay Tourism Ltd

TOURISM has become hugely competitive and today, particularly with a strong Australian dollar and low airfares overseas, we vie with all manner of destinations to attract and keep our visitors. This applies to the business travel market as well as the holiday segment, and especially given the ease of tele-conferencing, Skype and virtual travel.

Competing for a share of potential travellers is an expensive, year-round promotional effort which demands careful targeting with the right offers to trigger demand. The cost of undertaking such marketing in far-away markets is way beyond the capabilities of the frontline of the tourism industry in any destination, and (because the tourism benefits flow throughout the community) is rightly supported by the public purse through each level of government.

Mackay Tourism receives its funding from annual fees paid by its 260 member businesses plus funding from Mackay and Isaac regional councils and State Government. This funding is granted subject to us presenting a solid case for destination marketing, the operation of our accredited Visitor Information Centres and our Mackay Convention Bureau a all of which must deliver against key performance indicators.

As the regional tourism organisation we lead the charge in promoting destination Mackay-Isaac and selling our experiences and products. However, our industry's contribution to this activity, on their own behalf, is vital and substantial.

We address a number of target market segments to achieve a balanced inflow of visitors to best match our capacity and provide customers for the tourism-related businesses we serve. Often, we work with partners such as Mackay Airport and the airlines, tour wholesalers and travel retailers, convention and event organisers, and of course, the media, to target our offers effectively and convert them to sales. …

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