Creative minds are EVERYTHING in the world of Marketing. Who knew a playful interactive mobile game could raise more awareness about Canberra? The ACT state winner of AMI’s 2018 Tourism and Hospitality Marketing award, VisitCanberra, did it and no one could’ve done it better.
Following the announcement of Canberra ranking #3 in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2018, VisitCanberra developed a mobilefirst interactive game. Called Canberra or Can’tberra, it was a quiz aimed at maximising awareness of the city as the latest hot-spot, and playfully invited people to ‘see what the judges saw’.
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VisitCanberra’s destination marketing platform ‘One Good Thing After Another’
(OGTAA) brings the destination’s experience pillars and major events to life through creative development, advertising, public relations and trade programs. It’s the overarching and long- running strategy from which all VisitCanberra marketing campaigns derive and has enhanced the flavour of the brand. Introducing a unique selling proposition for Canberra has appealed to the consumers’ desire to see and experience more in less time and offers a great opportunity to demonstrate that visitors will truly discover one good thing after another in Canberra.
Using the platform as a launch pad, Canberra has seen a dramatic breakthrough over the past 18-24 months and now stands confidently as a major player in the global travel industry. Evidenced by all-time record overnight visitation (source: National & International Visitor Surveys ‘NVS and IVS’), major national and international accolades such as the ranking of third best city to visit in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel list and aviation achievements opening the doors to the international market, the destination has experienced a rapid makeover that can be largely attributed to VisitCanberra’s long-term commitment to its destination marketing platform that showcases the city’s offerings and challenges outdated perceptions of Canberra.
Canberra is still a destination that faces one big challenge – a lack of awareness and the stigma of negative perceptions as a destination. Data shows that Canberra still isn’t high on the consideration list as a weekend destination, so VisitCanberra clearly identified a need to develop marketing initiatives that tackle the issue of awareness head on.
What was needed was a solid, impactful overarching destination marketing platform that could be used as a launch pad to evolve destination messages that sit alongside the well- established VisitCanberra brand, whilst at the same time shifting outdated perceptions of the destination. The platform would need to amplify the USP of proximity and diversity; Canberra has a lot of varied experiences on offer, all within easy distance, making it the ideal place for a weekend getaway.
With a commitment to ensuring growth in visitation numbers, VisitCanberra set out to ensure Canberra no longer remains “criminally overlooked,” as described by the Lonely Planet judges.
VisitCanberra created a destination marketing platform ‘One Good Thing After Another’ (OGTAA) to bring the destination’s USP of proximity and diversity, experience pillars and major events to life. It’s now the overarching and long-running strategy from which all VisitCanberra marketing campaigns derive and has enhanced the flavour of the brand.
Introducing a unique selling proposition for Canberra has appealed to the consumers’ desire to see and experience more in less time and offers a great opportunity to demonstrate that visitors will truly discover one good thing after another in Canberra.
The diversity and proximity message underpins VisitCanberra’s marketing efforts, and offers a unique selling proposition for our destination. It appeals to the consumers’ desire to see and experience more in less time and offers a great opportunity to demonstrate that a weekend in Canberra truly is one good thing after another.
The NVS and IVS for the year ending September 2017 showed record breaking overnight domestic and international visitor numbers. Canberra’s domestic overnight visitation increased by 12.6% to a record of 2.71 million, well ahead of the national average of 7.2% (representing a 29.8% increase in holiday-makers), alongside a record 228,038 international visitors. The record visitor night growth, equating to an additional 1.02 million nights was the highest of all state and territories at 16.8%, smashing the national average of 5.9%.
These visitors spent a combined total of $2.47 billion, including record amounts for international overnight visitors and domestic day trip visitors, making it the most successful year to date for visitor expenditure – a historic breakthrough.
See a snapshot of year-on-year visitation growth here.
Key outcomes that contributed value to the organisation
The above results reflect VisitCanberra’s commitment to growing the visitor economy to $2.5 billion by 2020 through a variety of marketing activities using OGTAA as the platform, leading to significant outcomes including the Lonely Planet accolade and aviation successes.
The Lonely Planet Announcement
Cementing Canberra as a major player in the global travel industry, Canberra ranked #3 in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2018 list – the highest position any Australian city has ever placed in the 13 years of the esteemed awards.
“Criminally overlooked Canberra packs a big punch for such a small city. National treasures are found round almost every corner and exciting new boutique precincts have emerged, bulging with gastronomic highlights and cultural must-dos.” That’s what Lonely Planet wrote.
On the back of the announcement, VisitCanberra leveraged the news to establish, and further reinforce Canberra as a desirable tourist destination using OGTAA as the platform. A carefully crafted and integrated PR, co-maker and social media campaign achieved significant media results in the weeks following the announcement:
- PR: 436 x total pieces of press coverage, 47M+ OTS, 48 x TV broadcasts, 83 x national news reports, 157 x radio broadcasts, 41 x lifestyle stories and 103 x regional news pieces.
- Social: global mentions of ‘Canberra’ doubled in average conversation levels on the day of the announcement of the
The destination marketing platform and the resulting increase in visitation has also initiated cooperative campaign work with key international and domestic airline partners, significantly increasing Canberra’s reputation as a stand out tourism destination and opening up new flight routes.
Domestically, Tigerair Australia broke the duopoly of Qantas and Virgin to become the first low-cost carrier to operate low cost flights between Melbourne and Canberra in December 2016, and Brisbane was added in September 2017. Opening Canberra up to travellers from across regional NSW, Fly Pelican commenced flights between Canberra and Dubbo, and Canberra and Newcastle in 2017.
Internationally, Canberra International Airport now welcomes Singapore Airlines flights connecting Canberra and Singapore daily and Qatar Airways commenced a daily service to Canberra in February 2018 connecting Canberra to Europe.
These airline successes have resulted from cooperative work with key domestic and international airline partners and industry partners such as the Canberra Airport, supported by our destination marketing platform OGTAA.
All these successes serve as proof points to VisitCanberra’s long-term commitment to its destination marketing platform. Canberra is making an outstanding impact to the economy through its destination marketing efforts, demonstrating that Canberra really does have one good thing after another.
*This 2018 AMI Awards submission has been provided by VisitCanberra to share with the AMI community. Congratulations once more to the team on your outstanding achievements!