26 October 2012

Australian tourism launches capital campaign

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In an effort to boost tourism to the country's capital, the Australian Capital Territory's tourism body wants to demonstrate the city's best features by paying social media users to review them in a AU$1 million campaign.

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ACT Tourism hope the #HumanBrochure campaign proves Canberra has more to offer tourists than politics.

The 'Human Brochure' campaign is the brainchild of ACT tourism boss Ian Hill and involves 500 publicly visible people each being shown the best Canberra has to offer; the first batch of 250 arrived in the capital this week.

Mr Hill says Canberra's position as the political centre of Australia has given it a hard reputation which is difficult for many tourists to see past.

"Our research shows that 90% of people who visit Canberra have their expectations met or exceeded, yet many people still have a negative perception of Canberra," said Mr Hill.

"You don’t hear people say ‘Melbourne put taxes up today’ or ‘Sydney put taxes up today’, but people use the word Canberra in that context.

"It’s become a sort of unofficial Australian sport to bag Canberra, which means we’ve got to work twice as hard to change people’s perceptions."

Australian tourism advertisements are usually TV based but Mr Hill has chosen a different tack and is relying on the incredible reach and influence of social media to improve the city's reputation as a great tourist destination.

Over 30,000 people applied for a place in the AU$1 million (£640,000) campaign - the only requirement: being heavy social media users.

The 'Human Brochure' campaign includes many of the country's most visible social media users and Mr Hill is hoping they'll go some way to changing the public perception of the country's capital.

"We want people to think of Canberra as a place that interprets where we've come from, where we are and where are going as a nation - and to have some fun doing it," said Mr Hill.

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