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Friday, November 27, 2009

All I want for Christmas is an experience

People want a holiday experience they can talk about at a dinner party rather than just another gadget – and tourism marketers need to make the most of this, a researcher from The University of Queensland says.

UQ School of Tourism senior research fellow Dr Noel Scott says many people have all the gadgets and designer clothes they need, so they start hunting around for unique tourist destinations and experiences.

The tourist destinations need to provide these people with an experience they cannot get anywhere else, Dr Scott said.

The comments come as Dr Scott prepares to release a book he edited with fellow researchers Eric Laws and Philipp Boksberger called Marketing of Tourism Experiences.

The book covers things such as wine tourism, visits to museums and national parks, design of urban precincts with tourism in mind and inter-cultural experiences.

Dr Scott said it aimed to help tourism marketers appreciate how important it was to sell their destinations as places where people could experience exciting new things.

"Wine tourism is an example of a type of experiential tourism because you get to taste it,'" he said.

"Up till now, people in marketing or in business have generally been selling products, like buying a bag of sugar. There is not much of an experience in buying a bag of sugar.

"Today people have so much money and they live in a consumer world. People are interested in brands, not just products.

"It is not just the physical product but the whole idea of the product they are buying.

"If you buy a Gucci handbag, you are not just buying a handbag. You are buying a name and a status. When you have all the brands you need, people buy experiences. These are unique.'"

It was the same in tourism, Dr Scott said.

"An experience is something you talk about afterwards at a dinner table and people are interested," he said.

"You don't talk about your hotel room or travelling by plane. An experience is emotional. It is delightful.

"You need to sell your tourism product or destination as an experience. You can stay at the Tarzan room at a particular hotel. You are not selling a room. It is an experience.'"

Some Hollywood hotels had rooms related to specific films, Dr Scott said.

Members in some Chinese tour groups are asked to take roles in a simulated wedding, alongside actors dressed in traditional clothing, he said.

"It is an example of interacting rather than viewing. It is something authentic and not just a product.''

Tourism marketing worked best when it evoked the senses and emotions and may involve providing traditional food, trinkets infused with smells or music associated with the destination, Dr Scott said.

"A physical experience can lead to an association with a destination."

Dr Scott's book is available for $134. Visit

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Copyright © 2009 The University of Queensland, Brisbane Australia

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

More support needed for regional tourism: report

source: ABC News

A new parliamentary report says regional tourism needs extra support in the wake of the global financial crisis.

The House of Representatives report released today has investigated the impact of the world economic downturn on regional Australia.

A total of 170 submissions were received from welfare agencies, small business, the National Farmers Federation and councils including Griffith, Urana, Tamworth, Gunnedah and Moree Plains.

Most cited a big fall in income, losses on investments and difficult trading circumstances.

The committee chairwoman, Catherine King, says it is clear additional support is needed in some areas.

"So we've made some recommendations around certainly some capacity building in local communities, better coordination of federal government services so that people at the local level can actually take advantage of programs as they come up," she said.

"We've also obviously called for the extension of some Federal Government programs in which there's funding, particularly in the tourism portfolio."

Ms King says the financial crisis has hurt regional communities reliant on income from overseas visitors.

She says regions that support only a couple of industry sectors are also struggling to bounce back.

"If they were not sufficiently diverse they had been knocked about quite a bit by the global financial crisis and we do know that nationally unemployment figures are continuing to rise," she said.

"In regional communities it's been exacerbated where there is just one large employer, but in others it's just been a slow bleeding of jobs in smaller communities as well."

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Fairfax folds Travel + Leisure

Story by: Nikki MacLennan/

SYDNEY: Fairfax Magazines will close Travel + Leisure Australia following its December issue, after four and a half years of publishing.

Fairfax said in a statement that the closure was due to the decision by American Express Australia to no longer distribute the magazine as a benefit to its platinum credit card holders in Australia and New Zealand.

Travel + Leisure Australia recorded circulation of 90,323 (including New Zealand) in the March 2009 CAB audit. It launched into Australia in 2005.

Travel + Leisure Australia was one of seven international editions of the title, which was aimed at “travellers, not tourists” and showcased travel writing and photography covering food, wine, fashion, art, architecture and driving, both in Australia and overseas.

Fairfax Magazines chief executive and publisher Lisa Hudson said: “We are very proud of the quality of Travel + Leisure Australia and it is with a sense of regret that we announce its closure.”

Fairfax said it was “working with staff in relation to their future”.

Fairfax Magazines also publishes Good Weekend, Sunday Life, the (sydney) magazine, Sport & Style and the age (melbourne) magazine.

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