After the whirlwind presentation at NowTV in Chai Wan and a lunch that I’m going to have dreams about at Kam’s Roast Goose, we set off to find the Tourism Australia office which was located incidentally in Wan Chai (that’s not a mistake). After navigating what felt like a maze of steel and glass amidst the constant frenzy that is Wan Chai, we found ourselves in the cavernous lobby of the China Resources Building.
We met Carmen Tam, Tourism Australia’s manager in Hong Kong, one of the fastest growing tourism markets for Australia. While her responsibilities used to cover the Guangzhou area as well, the increasing importance of the Hong Kong market has resulted in her focusing purely on the Hong Kong market. Her operations are focused on meeting the goals for their 2020 Tourism Strategy, to expand the overnight traveller numbers and grow visitor spending.
The overall strategy Carmen and her team are pursuing is to search for different opportunities that connect and create new points of engagement with the target audience. A very notable part of what she does is the utilisation of the strength Australia already has as a travel brand and creating partnerships with leading related brands in order to boost the profile of the country. For example, she has partnered up with Cathay Pacific and Sony to create exposure for both brands resulting in a win-win situation. This also helps to manage the budget as Tourism Australia is a global organisation with over 7 international hubs with multiple
local managers that serve each of these hubs. Managers like Carmen are responsible for executing the global campaigns of Tourism Australia in a manner that effectively reaches the target audience of their locality.
An example of this is action is the creative way she executed the Restaurant Australia campaign in the Hong Kong market. Restaurant Australia is about bringing together the incredible stories of our people, place and produce to demonstrate to the world that everyday, unique and exceptional food and wine experiences are being served up in remarkable locations which are then shared using unique and compelling content.
Her execution involved creating a “Restaurant Australia” long table lunch at Hong Kong’s popular harbour-side restaurant, Alfresco Lane in partnership with SINO, a leading property group. Additional promotional avenues included a partnership with OpenRice (the leading digital platform for Hong Kong’s bustling food scene) which promoted the stories of local Hong Kong influencers as they followed a Tourism Australia itinerary which led them across the best food and wine destinations across Australia. I found this to be a clever way in the fact that the organisation was able to utilise the budget to create exposure for the brand while also creating unique and compelling content and disseminating it with relevant and popular content distribution platforms.
The biggest takeaway for me was seeing how these global campaigns are able to be executed in a manner that’s appropriate and effective for the local area. This was particularly impressive to me as we were able to meet the people responsible for implementing these campaigns in the real world that deliver real-world results.