Big Data & the Travel Industry

Big data has the potential to transform how travel companies deliver services to travellers, according to the latest study by Amadeus.

Big data is arguably the biggest opportunity in a generation for travel businesses to embrace the changing structure of data and maximize its use. It offers the potential for a vast shift for all travel companies, empowering them to enhance both the business and experience of travel. As with any generational shift in technology, however, the opportunities arrive hand-in-hand with the potential for significant disruption, which naturally bring many challenges – competitive and creative – for the travel industry to consider.

Amadeus Big Data Report
Amadeus Big Data Report

“At the Big Data Crossroads: turning towards a smarter travel experience”, an independent study just published by Amadeus, explores the impact of large volume, unstructured data known as big data on the global travel industry.

The study finds that travel companies are at a crucial big data crossroads: big data has a vital role to play in delivering a more efficient and tailored travel experience with benefits to both travel companies and travelers alike. However, its potential is still confined to early adopters in the travel sector, and it calls for more widespread consideration across the industry about how new approaches to big data can yield significant opportunities.

Big Data- means for Travel

Here is an overview of the major points:

Big data offers significant benefits for all travel companies
The benefits of big data for travel providers and travelers are explored, including:
• Better decision support
• New products and services
• Better customer relationships
• Cheaper, faster data processing

Big data in the travel industry is currently being driven by early adopters

The diverse ways in which big data is being used by early adopters in the travel industry are investigated, with a focus on:
• Optimizing revenue management
• Customizing travel distribution
• Transforming corporate travel
• Enhancing internal operations
• Boosting financial performance

Challenges need to be overcome so the industry can realize the potential of big data

The study acknowledges the technical and operational challenges associated with big data adoption in the industry, namely:
• Creating an integrated data source
• Working in a hybrid technological environment
• Overcoming the data skills shortage (an issue in all industries adopting big data)
• Maintaining competitive advantage

Finally, here is a series of recommendations for travel companies preparing to embrace big data:

  • Research big data
  • Strategize about big data 
  • Don’t just explore big data technology – look at the changes you will need to make to business and operational    processes too
  • Start assembling big data skills 
  • Work with partners

Find the Full Report here

View this and all the latest Tourism & Travel Trends and Developments in Trendspotting 2013.

Tourism Competitiveness Survey: Beyond Sun & Sea

Beauty of beaches is not enough! Focus on Quality of Visitor Services instead..

Based on its reference UNWTO endorsed global survey TRAVELSAT©, TCI Research has evaluated the competitive strengths and weaknesses of the Caribbean destinations vs main competitors in the world: Indian Ocean, Mediterranean, Asia-Pacific, Latin America and Arabian Emirates.

The Caribbean islands attract 20 million international tourists per year, but beyond the dreamy images promoted in campaigns, are they competitive in terms of visitors’ experience and quality of services and hospitality? In accordance with multiple source market data worldwide, the survey comes to confirm that beauty of beaches is no longer enough.

Beyond beach beauty and diversity advocated by their visitors, Caribbean islands benefit from several assets related to the local people hospitality, leisure and nightlife, local food quality and shopping experience. However intentions to recommend and repeat visit remain lower in the region (minus 15 points vs competition). The gap is driven by a number of competitive weaknesses related to less tangible yet crucial criteria such as the feeling of security, cleanliness or urban development.

Caribbean experience vs competition: a snapshot report

TravelSat- Caribbean Competitiveness

Commenting on the results, TCI Research CEO Olivier Henry-Biabaud adds: “Beyond central issues related to connectivity (cost to reach the destination, visas, etc.), the global competition between «sea & sun» destinations is all a matter of consistency in quality perceived during the whole stay that can generate positive or negative word-of-mouth.

TravelSat Caribbean- Low Competitiveness areas

The multifaceted Caribbean region is made of diverse destinations facing different tourism challenges and it offers a competitive experience to its visitors on tangible elements (beaches, accommodation, food, etc.). However some of them significantly suffer from a lack of competitiveness in more intangible criteria (environment, feeling of security, people hospitality) raising issues they should address if they wish to build a more competitive and sustainable tourism, while emerging destinations sell a different “sea & sun” experience for attracting European markets. Some of these issues need to be managed accordingly in order to  attract  BRIC markets too.

Technical note:

  • Analysis extracted from the global TRAVELSAT Competitive Index Survey based on 30 000+ interviews of representative international travellers from 50+ sourcing markets. TRAVELSAT© Indexes reports opinion of international tourists who experienced the destination in the past 3 months using a standard norm.
  • List of destinations included in the benchmarking analysis: Bahamas, Barbados, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Florida (Keys islands) Guadeloupe, Jamaica, Martinique, Puerto Rico, St Lucia, St Maarten, Fiji islands, Cayman islands, Maldives, Mauritius, La Reunion, Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, Nouvelle Caledonia, Greece, Turkey, Croatia, Cyprus, Malta, France (Riviera and Corsica), Italy (Sicilia and Sardinia), Madeira, Spain (Balearic islands, Canary islands), Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Dubai, Oman, Qatar, Egypt (Red Sea), Morocco, Tunisia, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Dubai, Oman, Qatar.

About TCI Research 
TCI Research is a Brussels based leading independent research agency specializing in destinations’ competitiveness evaluation. It carries out the UNWTO Innovation Award Winning TRAVELSAT Index, a reference global competitive survey benchmarking countries, regions and cities’  brand experience.

abouTourism is the exclusive representative of TRAVELSAT© Competitive Index in SE Europe/Eastern Med Destinations. For more information you may contact us at: or  (+30) 210 8941610.

Destination BrandWatch: Holland, Australia & New Mexico

Holland: ‘The Original Cool’

Holland has declared itself the “Original Cool” with a new campaign by the Netherlands Board of Tourism & Conventions in partnership with KLM Royal Dutch AirlinesSchiphol Airport, and Amsterdam Marketing.

The first from apparently a series of several campaigns promoting the cities in Holland, focuses on Amsterdam. The campaigns aim to emerge the audience into every aspect of the local daily life focusing on its people.

‘Greetings, gallant traveler! Tell us, what do you know about Holland? Picturesque canals? Windmills? Master paintings from the Golden Age? Yes, we have it all! But let us show you what’s really cool about Holland… and we’ll start with Amsterdam. In 2013 the city is celebrating a host of incredible milestones, so there’s never been a better time to book a trip.’


‘Get High” in the Snowies

Tourism Snowy Mountains is encouraging visitors to “Get High” in the Snowies with a new marketing initiative designed to position the area as Australia’s ultimate alpine destination with domestic holidaymakers, day-trippers and international visitors.

The Tourism Snowy Mountains’ 365 Get High marketing project is the result of an extensive consumer insights program undertaken by the local regional tourism organisation.

The new brand positioning is designed to express the emotional connection between the area’s unique landscape, its diverse activities and the intimate personal reactions of visitors.

Collectively, the campaign aims to communicate various facets of the area’s excitement and inspiration under a colloquial “Get High” banner.

More info:

New Mexico – True Campaign

The New Mexico Tourism Department recently launched its summer promotion, New Mexico True Stories. The 14-week contest encourages people to travel the state this summer and share their stories for a chance to be named the Ultimate New Mexico Insider and win a cash prize.


New Mexico True Stories is an extension of the New Mexico True campaign, which was launched last spring in Texas, Colorado and Arizona. Throughout the state, billboards, TV, newspapers and on-line advertising ask, “Are you New Mexico True?” and direct New Mexicans to the Tourism Department’s website to share their story.

Participants simply have to travel the state, take photos, then visit the contest website

They are asked to upload six-twelve photos and answer a few questions about: favorite meal, outdoor adventure, and insider’s tip.

The Top 20 NM True Stories will be featured in the 2014 Vacation Guide, as the Ultimate New Mexico Insider’s Guide.

As the Tourism Department says: “By sharing your stories, you are giving great insight to the hundreds of people who visit our website in search of adventure and authentic experiences.”

More info:

European Tourism 2013: Trends & Prospects

“As 2012 was a strong year for tourism, Europe’s modest upward trend confirms the health of its tourism sector against overall economic turmoil,” according to  the European Travel Commission.

The UN World Tourism Organization expects world tourism to grow on average between 3% and 4% this year. According to the UNWTO 2013 World Tourism Barometer, growth is forecast in all world regions, with Europe (+2% to +3%) and the Americas (+3% to +4%) growing at a more moderate pace than Asia and the Pacific (+5% to +6%), Africa (+4% to +6%) and the Middle East (+0% to +5%).

European Tourism 2013 - Trends & Prospects (Q1/2013)
European Tourism 2013 – Trends & Prospects (Q1/2013)

Appetite for tourism is expected to remain through 2013

The modest upward trend in individual destinations is reinforced by key indicators from the aviation and accommodation industries.

Air transport statistics indicate that tourism demand remains robust from long-haul markets, with travel on European routes growing at a slightly faster rate moving into 2013. Occupancy in European hotels has also been higher than a year earlier, with growth apparent in all sub-regions.

For the remaining months of 2013, European destinations’ performance will largely depend on the economic performance of intra-European markets. The multi-speed economic recovery in Europe may exacerbate recent changes in travel patterns. Travel from some large Southern and Western European markets (e.g. Italy, Spain and the Netherlands) slowed down during the first months of 2013. As further low cost options are sought, demand for domestic travel in these markets may rise at the expense of international travel. On the other end, emerging markets will continue to grow in relative importance, with Russia being on the front line. Some developed markets that performed weakly in recent years may also gain importance as they release pent-up demand (e.g. France and UK).

The most attractive prospects for Europe come from long-haul markets

The European Travel Commission expects that long-haul markets will initially drive growth in 2013. Key indicators suggest further growth in travel from the US, where consumer spending has remained remarkably strong despite the threat of imminent spending cuts. Japan’s economic outlook also seems more positive, bolstered by monetary stimulus and record monetary easing. On the downside, a fall in the yen may hamper international travel.

Among the rapidly emerging markets, Chinese tourism is expected to continue soaring in most European destinations, though moving from a low base. Indian tourism demand has remained weaker compared to China in early 2013, but overall continued growth in demand is expected for this year.

European tourism growth shines light amid economic gloom

Considering the industries evident strength in 2012 while facing economic headwinds, tourism has the potential to play a key role as a tool for economic development and job creation; in Europe and worldwide.

According to the European Travel Commission, growth-supporting actions should be taken to maximize tourism contribution to weak economies, especially in Europe’s peripheral areas.

“In the immediate future, marketing and promoting Europe in overseas destinations will facilitate the rising demand for international travel, however, easing visa requirements and reducing taxation would help the industry contribute even more to broader economic development in the medium term,” according to the executive director of the European Travel Commission, Eduardo Santander.

Full Report here.

Check out the latest Tourism & Travel Trends worldwide in TrendSpotting 2013.

Fresh Destination Marketing Initiatives

A selection which we find representative of the current global tourism and travel market trends.

UK focuses on GREAT “Holidays at Home”

Wallace and Gromit, the Nick Park-created animation duo, are to star in a £4m UK tourism campaign, appearing in a TV advert designed to inspire Britons to take holidays in their own country.


The pair, who will also feature in cinemas, will be seen on their travels, discovering what tourist chiefs describe as “the best of the UK”.

The campaign forms part of “Holidays at Home are GREAT“, a pan-UK Government-funded strategy which launched last year.


Designed to boost domestic tourism, the campaign aims to raise £80 million in additional tourism spend and more than a million overnight stays.

The £4m integrated campaign, led by VisitEngland, and supported by the home nation tourist boards of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will see Wallace and Gromit take to the road exploring the country and discovering the best of the UK (including some top spots for elite cheese tasting).  The Government funded campaign, ‘Great Adventure’, aims to inspire Britons to book a holiday through their local travel agent.


VisitEngland is working with a number of high street travel agents and operators across the country who will be putting together exciting British holiday packages for Wallace and Gromit and the rest of their customers.


New York Launches its Largest Tourism Campaign ever

At the conclusion of the first New York State Tourism Summit, where hundreds of tourism experts gathered in Albany to discuss ideas and new ways to bring tourists to every corner of the state, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the launch of the states largest tourism campaign ever.

923122_10151607775704169_1178330672_nAfter discussions with tourism experts and hearing the concerns and ideas of local and international tourism officials, the governor announced a series of initiatives designed to make New York the tourism capital of the world:

Highest Level of Tourism Funding in Decades: Cuomo announced the state would invest nearly $60 million in tourism funding – the highest level of tourism funding in decades.

New I Love NY Marketing Campaign with Port Authority and MTA to Promote Upstate NY Tourism Destinations: Under the partnership announced, The MTA and Port Authority will provide $2 million worth of advertising space on subways, bus and commuter rail systems and at airport arrival points and kiosks to promote Upstate tourism.

  • The MTA/I Love NY Partnership will result in more 7,000 advertising spaces throughout the MTA subway, bus and commuter rail systems. In addition, the MTA and I Love NY will co-brand railroad destination and getaway packages to Long Island and Hudson Valley beaches, wineries, parks and attractions.
  • The Port Authority/I Love NY Partnership will result in advertising at the Port Authority’s most important travel hubs and services and more than 20 indoor and outdoor print/digital advertising resources at the Port Authority bus terminal, including high-visibility column wraps.
  • Additional Airline and Airport Partnerships: As the first entry point for many travelers and tourists, the governor announced new initiatives to welcome visitors to the Empire State and inform them about the state’s many assets and attractions. This will include on-site greeters and welcome centers at New York’s airports. The governor also announced the state’s airports will feature Taste NY. Additionally, Delta Airlines will start featuring I Love NY advertisements in its in-flight magazine starting this month.


NYS Sports and Special Events Commission: The state will create a sports and special events commission. The commission will be charged with recruiting sporting and other special events to venues across the state – and competing for part of the $600 billion global sports tourism industry.

New Welcome Centers at Border and Interstate Crossings: The centers will serve as hubs of information about the state’s tourism assets and attractions. New signs showcasing local attractions will also be strategically placed at these border and interstate crossings.

New Taste NY Marketing Efforts: As announced, Taste NY products will be sold at strategically located rest stops across the state.

International Tourism Campaign: From Asia to South America: The governor announced an international tourism campaign – I Love NY Asia / I Love NY South America – that will invite people overseas to the Empire State and have a presence in emerging markets such as China and Brazil.

New Tourism Information for Decision-Makers: Empire State Development will be a clearinghouse for tourism metrics, offering New York’s businesses a place to go for information on how to best market to visitors and attract tourists.

I Love NY in Times Square: The Times Square Alliance has agreed to give the state space at the Visitors Center to help market state attractions to the millions of tourists who pass through Times Square every year.

I Love NY LGBT: The governor announced an I Love NY LGBT niche tourism initiative to market New York to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender community, which accounts for approximately $70 billion in tourism spending in the U.S. every year.


Chile’s New International Campaign

A new campaign for the international tourism promotion of Chile was launched by the Subsecretaría de Turismo and Turismo Chile, the institution responsible for the promotion of Chile in international markets, as part of the events at World Travel Market (WTM) in Latin America.


Geographical, climatic and cultural contrasts play a fundamental role in this campaign, which promotes the diversity of activities in which to take part in Chile, such as trekking in the Parque Nacional Torres del Paine national park, one of the best nature destinations in the world, rafting down rivers surrounded by ancient forests and towering volcanoes, skiing the best slopes in the continent with the Andes as a backdrop, or experiencing the ancient culture of Rapa Nui on the remote Easter Island.


The images within the new promotional materials seek for a way of communication that is more focused on the traveler’s experience of the landscape and use, in addition, messages with humor and irony in order to engage a more diverse audience, conveying the essence of the local culture. Furthermore, it is based on the framework of the plan to promote Chile abroad, which has six experiences: Natural Inspiration, Adventure and Sport, Culture and Heritage, Flavors and Wine, Health and Wellbeing, and Urban Life.

The new images will start to be exhibited in all the markets that have been established as priorities: Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Germany, France, Spain, England, the USA, Mexico and Australia.


Effective B2B Destination Marketing: Travel Trade Workshops

We are very proud to announce that the first Travel Trade Athens Workshop has been branded a success and established as an annual signature trade event for the City of Athens.

Within the framework of the City of Athens’ development and tourism promotion action plan aiming to highlight Athens in the international tourism market, the Athens Development & Destination Management Agency (ADDMA) reached a cooperation agreement of strategic importance with the European Tour Operators Association (ETOA)The agreement sees to the establishment of a series of annual B2B workshops under the name “Travel Trade Athens”.


The first Travel Trade Athens, was held on the 22nd and 23rd of April 2013, at the New Acropolis Museum.

The 3-day trade event comprised pre-scheduled appointments with local suppliers, thematic visits around Athens and social events for at least 80 hosted buyers including tour operators, conference and meeting organizers and distinguished journalists from Europe and the USA. More than 100 businesses and suppliers from all sectors of the local tourism industry participated in a round of 32 pre-set b2b appointments in order to present their services and products and to discuss ways of cooperation with the hosted buyers.


B2B meetings in a unique setting! New Acorpolis Museum-Destination: Athens
B2B meetings in a unique setting! New Acorpolis Museum-Destination: Athens

The agreement signed with ETOA, has a dual purpose for the tourism product of Metropolitan Athens and the destination’s efforts to strengthen the international image of Athens in the global tourism community. Firstly, this is the first intervention of such scale and importance after many years and with partner one of the most dynamic institutions in the European market, who trusts the city and its formal structures, such as the ADDMA. Secondly, it makes evident that Athens, as a city break and business destination, continues to be a very interesting and attractive option with promising growth prospects.

The structure of the event included:

  • Three-day stay in Athens during which buyers participated in fam-trips and site visits in order to get acquainted with the full portfolio of tourism products, the competitive advantages and the Unique Selling Points of metropolitan Athens as a tourist destination.
  • Organization of pre-scheduled appointments between local suppliers and the hosted buyers.
  • Industry intelligence & international trends seminar for the local suppliers who participated at Travel Trade Athens by leading representatives of international organizations such as ETOA, WYSE Travel Confederation and IGLTA.

TTA Convention Day with amazing presentations from Tom Jenkins- ETOA, David Chapman- WYSE Travel Confederation, Clark Massad - IGLTA and Olivier Henry-Biabaud- TCI Research, along with the presence of the Mayor of Athens and the president of the Athens Development & Destination Management Agency
TTA Convention Day presentations from Tom Jenkins- ETOA, David Chapman- WYSE Travel Confederation, Clark Massad – IGLTA and Olivier Henry-Biabaud- TCI Research, along with the presence of the Mayor of Athens and the president of the Athens Development & Destination Management Agency
Manolis Psarros and Daisy Modiano from AbouTourism with the Mayor of Athens, Mr Kaminis and the ADDMA team

The hospitality programme aimed at showcasing and promoting the tourism product of Metropolitan Athens and at creating the appropriate channels of cooperation between the local tourism industry and hosted buyers targeting the Athens market, in order to acquaint hosted buyers with the city’s tourism infrastructure and major points of interest.

1,400 face to face meetings took place between Greek professionals and hosted buyers from abroad, which is a “very important step.”

Through the trade event, local Greek businessmen had the chance to showcase their services and products and discuss cooperation possibilities with the hosted buyers.

More than 60 buyers from all over Europe, U.S. and Asia meeting with the best tourism suppliers of destination: Athens
More than 60 buyers from all over Europe, U.S. and Asia meeting with the best tourism suppliers of destination: Athens

Mayor Kaminis announced that Travel Trade Athens will be conducted on an annual basis as such actions are necessary to promote the tourism product of Athens.

 On his part, Tom Jenkins, Executive Director of the European Tour Operators Association (ETOA),  applauded the trade event’s concept and underlined the importance of promoting a destination to professionals.

In relation  to ABOUTOURISM’s contribution to the organization of this Travel Trade Workshop and the cooperation facilitation at a destination level, Tom Jenkins stated: “Travel Trade Athens was the first time we have worked with ABOUTOURISM. Much of the success of this event was down to the quality of their project management and leadership in developing the concept of a workshop in situ. We very much look forward to working with them again.”

Travel Trade Athens 2013 is organized by the Athens Development and Destination Management Agency with the cooperation of ETOA, under the project management and coordination of ABOUTOURISM Destination Consultants.

More info:

Global Travel Behavior Trends 2013

Visa‘s latest Global Travel Intentions Study 2013 has revealed that global cross-border tourism is thriving and travelers intend to increase budgets for their next trip by an average of 5% – with some holidaymakers even suggesting that they would more than double what they spent on their previous trip.

Visa’s regular barometer of travel trends indicates budgets are no longer among the top three reasons behind why travelers choose their next holiday destination. The pull of attractions, scenery and rich culture are instead stronger reasons for travel.


According to the Study, which surveyed 12,631 travelers from 25 countries, the average global travel budget of US$2,390 per trip is set to increase to US$2,501. Top spenders abroad in the past were the Saudi Arabians, spending an average of US$6,666 per trip, while Australian (US$4,118) and Chinese travelers (US$3,824) were not far behind. Future travel budget increases are especially high amongst Asian markets with a predicted increase of 46 percent – travelers from Singapore, Thailand and Hong Kong all plan to at least double the budget of their last trip in the future.

United States remains the top choice destination

Attractions, Scenery, and Culture were cited as the key drivers for a future trip regardless of destination. This desire to explore new horizons was evidenced by the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer, which revealed that international tourist arrivals grew by four percent in 2012 to reach 1.035 billion.

Visa’s Study revealed the United States ranked as the most popular destination choice for global travelers, both for trips taken in the past two years (17 percent) and for intended travel in 2013 (10 percent).

Other top destinations in 2011 and 2012 included the United Kingdom (UK) (12 percent), France (12 percent) and China, Singapore, Thailand and Hong Kong (all 10 percent). Looking ahead, regional travel is set to increase, especially in reflection of the growing popularity and economic strength of Asia Pacific (APAC). 31 percent of global travel is expected to be to Asia, and new APAC destinations such as Australia (four percent) and Korea (three percent) are making it on to the latest list of most preferred destinations for future travel.

Travelers also ranked Japan (five percent) and Australia (four percent) alongside the UK (five percent) as the top four intended destinations for future trips abroad.

The Rise of the Asian Giant

The increasing popularity of APAC is partially driven from within the region. Among travelers across the four global regions (APAC; the Americas; Middle East and Africa; Europe), respondents from APAC indicated strong intention (77 percent) to travel more in the future – with residents from nine of the region’s markets stating a higher intention to travel than the global average. Much of this increased travel is expected to take place within the region, where 80 percent of Asian travelers have chosen to take trips in the last two years.

APAC travelers are also spending more during their trip – those traveling within the region spent an average of US$273 per day, higher than both the global average (US$239) and any other region.

“The Asian markets have experienced a huge boom in tourism over the past few years due to the continued strength of their economies and the implementation of policies that promote cooperation and coordination in cross-border tourism. The ease of travel within the region, coupled with a rising middle class, has seen a growing demand for travel among the population and we expect this trend to continue into 2013 and beyond,” said Martin Craigs, Chief Executive Officer, Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA).

Increasing Ease of Travel

An increasing ease and availability of travel options is fuelling the tourism boom. This is particularly prominent in the airline industry where 85 percent of travelers prefer to fly to their destinations despite a preference for shorter distances. Of this figure, most (71 percent) chose to fly economy class while, perhaps surprisingly, only 16 percent chose budget airlines.

A Profile of Today’s Global Traveler

The results of the study paint a picture of today’s global traveler. They are seasoned travelers, with 79 percent travelling in the past two years, taking 1-2 trips per year. 80 percent plan their holidays in advance, taking an average of 10 weeks to organize the trip. Spending time with family and friends was cited as the most popular (38 percent) reason for a holiday. These trips are more likely to be organized independently (42 percent) and will last an average of 10 nights. They choose hotels of four stars and above (39 percent) with 69 percent choosing to take a trip with family members.


Chinese Travel Market & the World

According to the latest report published by UNWTO, China’s expenditure on travel abroad reached US$ 102 billion in 2012, making it the first tourism source market in the world in terms of spending. 

Over the past decade China has been, and still is, by far the fastest-growing tourism source market in the world. Thanks to rapid urbanization, rising disposable incomes and relaxation of restrictions on foreign travel, the volume of international trips by Chinese travellers has grown from 10 million in 2000 to 83 million in 2012. Expenditure by Chinese tourists abroad has also increased almost eightfold since 2000. Boosted by an appreciating Chinese currency, Chinese travellers spent a record US$ 102 billion in international tourism in 2012, a 40% jump from 2011 when it amounted to US$ 73 billion.


With this sustained growth, China has become the largest spender in international tourism globally in 2012. In 2005 China ranked seventh in international tourism expenditure, and has since successively overtaken Italy, Japan, France and the United Kingdom. With the 2012 surge, China leaped to first place, surpassing both top spender Germany and second largest spender United States (both close to US$ 84 billion in 2012).

Tourism Marketing & China

Destinations have been actively targeting China through their marketing campaigns to capitalise on the increased volume of this travel market and engage Chinese travelers. Let’s see some recent examples:

Tourism Australia Targets China through Mini Series

With China being one of its key markets, some months ago Tourism Australia commissioned a  “micro-film” to be broadcasted online at China’s video sharing site Tudou in five 45-minute segments.

The story chronicles the dramatic romance of a young couple, played by wildly popular duo Rainie Yang and Show Luo. Naturally, the romance kicks off in Australia. According to the media relations department of Tourism Australia, this is a great way of getting across Destination Australia content to a large audience, estimated at up to 10 million, across Greater China.

Tourism Australia sees the potential and high engagement of online video portals and platforms in reaching Chinese consumers nationally in China and across the region. Influential celebrities generate word of mouth, not only for the China market but also amongst the Greater China region.


Advocacy from influential celebrities and their own social media platforms greatly enhance product awareness and preference. The drama content and associated travelogue will also build knowledge of Australian travel experiences for consumers.

Show Lo is one of most popular celebrities in Greater China who, through his singing, acting and TV hosting activities, engages with nearly ten million followers on and eight million followers on QQ—two of China’s leading social media platforms. Rainie Yang has more than 7.5 million followers herself on QG. (More on:

Tourism Queensland targeting Australia’s Chinese community

A new tourism campaign targeting Australia’s Chinese community has just launched in a bid to grow Queensland’s share of the international market and tempt Chinese residents either working or studying in Australia to holiday in Queensland.China is currently Queensland’s second largest and fastest growing international market, according to Tourism Research Australia as in 2012, the state welcomed 261,000 Chinese visitors who spent $468 million on visits, a year-on-year increase of 27 and 22 per cent respectively.


As the Minister of Tourism stated, “Chinese residents in Australia are in a position to advocate Queensland’s tourism experiences to friends and family, both here and in China, following visits to the state”. The campaign was introduced to VIP inbound tour operators, who are active in the local Chinese community at a series of events in Sydney and Melbourne this week.

In partnership with regional tourism organisations, Tourism and Events Queensland will host Chinese travel agents and media outlets based in Australia on visits which showcase the state first-hand. Marketing activities, promoting tailored holiday packages designed to appeal to Chinese residents will also feature in the campaign. The aim is to educate the local Chinese community about the diversity of Queensland’s holiday experiences and encourage more residents to travel to the state.

Sources: UNWTO, Queensland

“Best Job(s) in the World” – From Regional to National

The “Best Job in the World” tourism campaign – extended version.

Tourism Australia‘s new extension of Queensland‘s famous ‘best job in the world’ campaign will feature six roles, each with a $100,000 salary package including living costs. Don’t get it wrong though- the focus of the campaign is not the money, but the promotion of experiences.

In an effort to revive the lucrative though static young traveller market, Tourism Australia is spending $4 million on an expanded ”Best Job in the World” global campaign, a bigger and more representative version for the entire country.

The competition targets travellers between the ages of 18 and 30 who are eligible for Australia’s Working Holiday Maker program.

Facebook Application

Six states and territories, including NSW and Victoria, will participate in the promotion with young backpacker-style tourists, worth $12 billion to the Australian economy, invited to apply for six ”fun” ambassador-style tourism roles around the country.

Each of the jobs will showcase the best tourism attributes of each state and territory.


The campaign is a reinvention of Queensland’s acclaimed campaign with the 2009 Best Job in the World promotion, won by Briton Ben Southall who got the chance to become a ”caretaker” of a Great Barrier Reef island and attracted unprecedented international attention. The new campaign has already more than doubled the total of 34,000 entries received by the previous campaign.

Young overseas travellers to Australia help to meet the demand for tourism workers around Australia that the industry itself would otherwise find difficult to fill due to labour shortages. They also stay longer than other tourists and spend more, with an average expenditure of between $7300 and $13,000 depending on their visa.

Tourism Australia’s new national campaign will focus on the markets eligible for Australian working-holiday visas including Britain, Ireland, the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan.

MoreTourism AustraliaAustralian Working Visa FB