09 April 2009

Tourism Australia using big-name bloggers to boost Australian holiday visa holder numbers

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The global financial condition is causing the numbers of Australian holiday visa holders to lag, and Tourism Australia is putting forward a new proposal to boost numbers again.

There are a number of  Australian holiday visa options for prospective Australian tourists, with the Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) being the most popular.  The ETA allows nationals from participating countries to travel in Australia for up to three months.  It is electronically attached to one's passport, and can be – in most cases – granted in seconds online.

Over the past year, in anticipation of the tourism lag, Tourism Australia has been pushing new marketing initiatives, including riding on the back of Baz Luhrmann's epic film Australia. 

The organisation has also been looking at social networking on the internet as a new means of communication and advertising.  For some time now, the social networking site MySpace has been an avenue to provide information regarding the Australian working holiday programme, and has seen some positive results.  Facebook – another networking site - now also has a page for Tourism Australia, "Australia" with almost 250,000 fans worldwide. 

This year, Tourism Australia will be using key international "bloggers" as their means to show off the wonders of Australian holidays to the world.  Starting with 'The Satorialist', who was rated by Time Magazine as being the 20th most powerful blog in the world, Tourism Australia will be utilising a whole new world of communication to entice more people to holiday on an Australian holiday visa.  According to the Travelmole, Tourism Australia will pay for him to experience an Australian holiday and let him tell the world his opinion of it.

"In addition to traditional advertising there are so many more ways to reach consumers today, particularly in the digital environment," said Tourism Australia managing director Geoff Buckley.

"We know that the consumers we target – Experience Seekers – are very active in the digital space which is a key reason why we are targeting digital opinion leaders who have a vast audience and influential voice."

Following The Satorialist's visit to Australia will be England's Andy Rouse, Germany's Julia Knolle, and China's, Yibo FAN.

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with emigrating to Australia.

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