THIS is the sentiment expressed by Tourism Western Australia’s MD Carolyn Turnbull, who this week spoke with travelBulletin about how important the marketing push and surrounding efforts will be to the recovery of the WA’s visitor economy.
“A unique global tourism brand has always been fundamental to a destination’s success, but a powerful brand has never been more critical than in today’s crowded, highly-competitive travel marketplace,” she said.
“This new global tourism brand is an invitation to the country and to the world, to come to Western Australia and explore the awe-inspiring attributes that make Western Australia a wondrous, dream-like place.”
The dreamy campaign features Empire of the Sun’s big hit Walking On A Dream as the soundtrack to a tourism world boasting unique landscapes, supernatural colour contrasts and otherworldly phenomena, as well as the immersive cultural connections WA offers and what Turnbull describes as “one-of-a-kind experiences that inspire a sense of unparalleled freedom”.
But the campaign alone will not be enough for WA to hit the ambitious visitor target goals the state has set itself, with Turnbull making it very clear that travel agents will also need to play an important part in leveraging its new brand identity.
“Walking On A Dream is all about growing awareness and driving consideration for Western Australia as an aspirational destination in the minds of our key international and interstate high yielding traveller audience,” she said.
“Our valued travel trade partners are vital in converting this awareness and consideration into planning and booking a trip to our beautiful state, we encourage all our trade stakeholders to build the Walking On A Dream message into their WA activity, to share a unified vision of Western Australia that reflects the dreamlike experiences our state offers, and ultimately drive more visitation to the state.
“Travel agents are critically important to the success of the WA visitor economy – they are the frontline advocates for the destination to consumers and are fundamental in converting potential visitors to planning and booking a Western Australian trip.”
Tourism Western Australia recently launched its West Aussie All Stars Program to build agent knowledge of the state’s experiences, a platform that aims to strengthen engagement with Australia-based agents and trade partners by assisting them in how best to build bucket-list itineraries for their clients.
Traditional favourites such as nature, wildlife and marine adventures have so far proven popular with Aussie travellers since border restrictions were removed, however, Turnbull told TB that new frontiers in this area are also being forged to ensure it remains strong as a destination moving into the future.
“Our vision is to make Western Australia the premier Aboriginal tourism destination in Australia, so growing the Aboriginal tourism sector is one of our top priorities,” she said.
“Walking On A Dream as a brand has been inspired by WA’s unique Aboriginal culture in an artistic, authentic way, to align with our Jina WA Aboriginal Tourism Action Plan objectives.
“Sustainability is also critical to the Tourism Western Australia vision, shaping and protecting our industry’s future WA across the community, economy and environment,” Turnbull added, with milestone achievements including constructing one of the world’s longest electric highway, with a network of almost 100 new electric vehicle fast charging stations and back-up charges at 49 different locations.
In 2019, the tourism industry in Western Australia contributed nearly 100,000 jobs and $13.5 billion in visitor spend, with 12 million overnight visitors. For the year ending June 2022, there were 9.9 million overnight stays and total visitor spend was $11.2 billion, which represents 83% of the pre-COVID volumes.
Featured image: Wildflowers, between Mukinbudin and Bencubbin ©Tourism Western Australia