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.

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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:

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.


Tourism Campaigns on Facebook. Like this!

Tourism Ireland launched Irish-themed Facebook game

Tourism Ireland is hoping to exploit the phenomenal popularity of social networks in the weeks ahead by convincing more than 100,000 people to play an Irish-themed Facebook game which it launched on St Patrick’s Day.

The Ireland Town game allows Facebook users to create an “idyllic town in Ireland” with the help of a virtual tour guide called Sally. Once they have Irish utopia created, Facebook users can then explore iconic sites and attractions around the country without leaving their couches.

After certain challenges are completed, players can progress to the next level of the game and those who make it through all the levels will be in with a chance of winning a real world prize of a holiday to Ireland.

Tourism Ireland is hoping that playing the game will bring the Irish holiday experience to life for potential visitors – albeit without the rain – and they will be tempted to swap the virtual for the real and come to Ireland to spend hard cash in the months ahead.

Fans can progress faster if they convince their friends on Facebook to sign up and the tourism authority has expressed the hope that “the incredible viral effect of social games” will see up to 100,000 people playing Ireland Town over the coming weeks.

It is aiming to ape games like FarmVille and CityVille which are hugely popular with Facebook users with nearly a quarter of users in the US and Britain playing social games at least once a week.

“It is a unique promotional tool and a first, as no other national tourist board had done this before,” said Mark Henry, Tourism Ireland’s central marketing director.


Visit Britain launches Facebook app targeting Generation Y travelers

Tourism body VisitBritain has launched a Facebook app targeting Generation Y travelers encouraging them to visit the UK via a personal treasure hunt that takes place on the social network.

VisitBritain has partnered with STA Travel, Travel CUTS and Transat Holidays to launch the app, called Unite the Invite, which is only available to Facebook users in America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

The app, which was created by Albion, involves a competition to match two Facebook users via the social network. Users register with the app, upload their picture and wait for a “match” with another Facebook user.

Users are then given a virtual invite to the UK, which is split between themselves and their “match”. Users then post the picture of their ‘match’ on their wall, and ask their Facebook friends to share the picture in order to try to find their competition partner through the social networking site.

The fastest pair to find each other will win a trip to London, Manchester, Liverpool, Glasgow, Edinburgh or Cardiff.

Laurence Bresh, director of marketing, VisitBritian, said: “The idea that we’re all connected by six degrees of separation has intrigued people for generations.”

“This campaign attempts to prove that theory. And, to our knowledge, no other tourist board or travel agency has taken this approach to engage students and young professionals.”

Tourism Australia and Quiksilver launch Facebook competition

Tourism Australia and Quiksilver have announced that they have launched a Facebook contest, “Surf, Sun and Social Networking in Australia,” that will send one lucky winner to Australia to be the official blogger for the 2012 Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast.

Beginning March 14 and ending April 8 contestants will have the opportunity to upload their best adventure photo to either or and describe in 100 words or less what they think is the best adventure Down Under. Whether it’s hiking in search of wildlife, on a quest for the perfect break, or discovering a new world underwater, Australia’s got it all. And for those who aren’t familiar with Aussie adventures, they can get inspired by visiting or The winner will be determined by who has the most “likes” at the end of the contest period.

“There’s nothing like an Australian adventure,” said Daryl Hudson, vice president, the Americas for Tourism Australia. “From our iconic beaches, to our world-class cities and of course our native wildlife, the winning blogger will be on the front lines of some amazing experiences.”

The winner will receive a two-week trip to Australia including round-trip international economy airfare from Los Angeles, Dallas, San Francisco, or New York to Australia; one week in Queensland attending and blogging from the 2012 Quiksilver Pro, and vacation and blogging for one week in another Australian state of their choice.

“The Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast is the premier surf event in all of Australia and the kick-off to the world tour every year,” said Eddie Anaya, Marketing Director of Quiksilver. “It’s exciting to partner with Tourism Australia to offer one of our fans a behind the scenes experience where they get to blog and rub elbows with the best surfers in the world at one of Australia’s legendary surf breaks – Snapper Rocks.”


Chinese Tourism Market- A Force to be Reckoned With

Chinese tourists are ready to spend more on their leisure travel this year, according to a recent study by Travelzoo Asia Pacific, while the China Daily/Asia News Network reports that they have already emerged as the top tax-free shoppers in Europe, surpassing the Russians.

Travelzoo Asia Pacific, a division of the global Internet media company Travelzoo Inc. held a survey by interviewing 4,200 Travelzoo subscribers that was conducted over the period of January 4 to January 12, 2011. The survey highlighted that at least eighty percent of mainland Chinese holidaymakers are intending to splurge more on leisure travel this year. The survey also exhibits that 70 percent of Hong Kong residence and 65 percent of the Taiwanese, also responded likewise.

The survey also indicates that mainland Chinese subscribers will expense on average USD 3,780 per person on leisure travel this year, while Hong Kong and Taiwanese holidaymakers will spend on average USD 2, 670 and USD 1, 872, respectively.


The result of the survey also signifies an increasing inclination of the mainland Chinese travelers towards sophisticated travels. Irrespective of the destination, most of the mainlanders showed their inclination towards sightseeing vacations, which topped the list repeatedly, with eco-tourism found as close second option. On the mainland, Tibet was regarded as the ideal eco-tourism destination, surpassing the other popular eco-tourism destinations offered from Canada, New Zealand, Europe and Australia.

The survey also implies the developing trend among the holidaymakers of Greater China to experience interesting yet lavish vacations. The beachfront hotels and spa resorts in particular, providing deluxe facilities are preferred consistently among the top choices. A strong 47 percent of the Hong Kongers put across such viewpoint, followed by 40 percent of the mainlanders with 37 percent of the Taiwanese showing similar preferences.  It has been observed that most of the mainlanders were seeking for harmony of body and mind to fulfill their aesthetic sense while vacationing.

Above all, the survey denotes that the Greater China subscribers of Travelzoo were looking out to explore some new aspects of vacationing. Thus, the fashion of trying exotic local foods and taking active participation in local festivals were spotted as the emerging trends in 2011 among a good half of the travelers surveyed across Greater China.


According to Global Blue, a Switzerland-based, tax-refund and shopping services provider, excluding shopping, the average total cost for each trip for a Chinese tourist stands at 2,000 euros (S$3,502.5). Shopping takes up more than 70 percent of total outbound consumption of Chinese travelers.

On average, outbound travelers from the Chinese mainland spent 744 euros on tax-free shopping transactions last year, doubling the Russian’s 368 euros. Tourists from the United States spent 554 euros and the Japanese 521 euros, according to Global Blue.

China’s outbound tourism has been booming thanks to the appreciation of the yuan and the increasing size of its economy. Tax-free shopping is one of the major incentives for Chinese travelers going abroad.

According to the China Tourism Academy, the number of Chinese outbound tourists is projected to have been 15.42 million in the third quarter of 2010, up 23.5 percent compared with the same period in 2009.

Being aware of the trend to prioritize Chinese customers by European merchants, Sfez said it is important for businesses to know that “Chinese people are not spending machines”.

“They are people. They want information. You cannot schedule a Chinese tourist group like scheduling a train or a flight,” he said. “This is just a different culture. It can be served just like any other: Europeans, Americans or Japanese.”

To cater to the rising number of Chinese travelers, the company brought European merchants to China to meet with local tour operators and get to know the market. In March, Global Blue invited a group of major luxury-brand companies from Italy, France, and the United Kingdom to discover the reality and operation of Chinese market, Sfez said.

Chinese travelers spent the most on fashion, jewelry and watches, and they like to shop at big department stores where more options are available, according to Global Blue.

According to Sfez, many Chinese customers do not know the heritage and history of certain brands. “They prefer brands that are very traditional – brands that everybody knows and sell the most,” he said.

But recently Global Blue has found that Chinese travelers can be highly interested in boutique stores, where the production of high-end luxury goods is limited.

“If merchants want to have a better relationship with Chinese customers, they have to go beyond money. Money will come. But if you establish a solid foundation, it becomes more stable and easier.”

It is not just the level of the brands that matters the most, but also the knowledge of the brands that matter to the consumers, he said.