You can’t escape marketing can you? New figures from Tourism Australia show for the first time, as a result of strong marketing, Melbourne overtook Sydney to become Australia’s most lucrative tourism destination.
Domestic overnight visitors spent $4.53 billion in Melbourne in 2007 compared with $4.49 billion in Sydney. Spending per visitor and per night was also higher in Melbourne. There are calls for a significant increase in funding for the NSW industry.
Christopher Brown of The Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF) says:
“These results reflect Melbourne’s strong, sophisticated tourism brand – and are a wake-up call to the NSW tourism industry…
We’ve had a changing of the guard in domestic tourism…
Sydney is still Australia’s top city for domestic visitor numbers and visitor nights – but melbourne makes a stronger contribution to the economy.
That has not happened by accident. Melbourne has a clear and compelling marketing strategy behind it, as well as a state government willing to invest in vital tourism infrastructure.
The O’Neill review of tourism in NSW, launched in February 2007, has been long-awaited by the tourism industry. Only a comprehensive long-term strategy, with significant new funding, can arrest this decline in market share.
Sydney remains a powerful draw for Australians, but it simply does not have the same marketing clout as Melbourne. Despite good policy outcome in the NSW Events area, tourism marketing and conventions have been left behind.
Queensland has the Queensland Tourism Strategy, Victoria has a 10 Year Tourism and Events Industry Strategy; NSW needs its own equivalent.”
Adding more fuel to this fire Hospitality magazine reports that Melbourne is threatening to overtake Sydney as the tourist destination of choice. It says the 2008 edition of 100 Greatest Trips, published by the US edition of Travel + Leisure magazine, features just one city in its list of top trips to be had in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific – Melbourne.
Extra funds earmarked for “Marketing Victoria” in this month’s budget have taken the state’s spending to $79.4m—way above NSW’s budgeted tourism funds of $55.9 million.
Over to Sydney’s marketing gurus!