There is a need to identify and properly market the brand image of Sydney and New South Wales in order to regain market share, according to NSW Visitor Economy Taskforce (VET) member John King.
Mr King addressed members and attendees at the SKÅL International meeting at the Swissôtel Sydney, while honouring the induction of new members Greg Urand, Rachel Pirie of StayWell Hospitality Group and Rebecca Fleming of Gow-Gates Group.
“The brand image of Sydney is extremely weak,” Mr King said.
“Three years ago there was a major effort undertaken to develop a brand for Sydney, probably some of the best research and brand strategy that I’d ever seen, unfortunately it was hijacked and all of a sudden became a marketing tagline, and once again the brand image of Sydney became very confused and dissipated.”
Mr King said it was important to outline the primary imperatives the Government must undertake to increase the appeal of not only Sydney, but NSW as a whole.
“When we asked people what it is that brings them to Sydney and NSW there is great ambivalence in terms of people’s understanding of the main attractions, experiences and key benefits of visiting,” he said.
Mr King said research and feedback from around the state revealed only 16 percent of international visitors venture outside of Sydney, and in terms of interstate and intrastate visitation there has been a very steady decline.
“We have really failed in the area of regional tourism,” he said.
“The spending by visitors to our state impinges on the entire economy of the state.
NSW regional tourism is still defining its priorities and developing action plans to combat poor performance.
“The fact is that NSW has been performing very poorly in the last ten year’s compared with our competitor destinations, not only in Australia but beyond,” Mr King said.
“When you look at our rural and regional areas around the state, many councils deny the fact that tourism is of great importance to them but we have been losing market share in domestic and international tourism over that ten year period.
“We need to change the mindset of the state government of NSW.”
Developing attractions, capacity and eventually visitor numbers falls upon the shoulders of the individual.
“At the end of the day, what’s going to ensure the success of tourism and the capability of being able to double the value of overnight spend is entrepreneurship,” Mr King said.
John King was appointed to the NSW Visitor Economy Taskforce in June this year and is chairman of the Australian Tourism Export Council.The VET’s role is to oversee the development of Government plans to double tourism in the state by 2020.
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T