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Mice Asia Net : October 2009
10 miceAsia.net news Asian meeting and incentive travel planners, hoteliers and product suppliers must get online if they are to tap into the lucrative China market following the latest news from PATA. A report prepared for the Pacific Asia Travel Association by Neilson found that Chinese travellers are "surfing the net" for travel information. The survey showed travellers will search conventional destination information ahead of their trips, and then turn to online travel discussion forums to fine-tune their plans. Nielsen also found that travellers were much more likely to recall internet advertising (close to 70 per cent) for travel destinations, compared to other mediums. The Nielsen China Outbound Travel Monitor uncovered the media expenditure of the top 15 destinations for Chinese travellers, as well as spending by various destinations' national and state tourism bodies. The research revealed in 2008 the total destination media expenditure in China from the top 15 destinations (by visitor numbers) was close to US$68million. The big spenders included South Korea accounting for 31 per cent of share of voice, then Singapore with 22 per cent, followed by New Zealand with 15 per cent, and Australia with 11 per cent. The survey estimated only 1.55 per cent of the total destination media expenditure was spent on internet advertising, and there were a lot of countries that did not spend anything on this medium. Indeed, the internet is the most widely used as an information searching tool, and tourism boards and destinations would be well- advised to budget to include the internet for global exposure. PATA Strategic Intelligence Centre director, John Koldowski said in today's tough business environment, every dollar, euro or RMB invested needs to have the best possible ROI outcome attached to it. "With these results showing that the largest proportion of China's outbound travellers -- both business and leisure -- use the internet as a pre-trip information tool, it makes sense that marketers should leverage that usage to increase the visibility of their own products and deals," he said. "The fact that cost of doing so is minimal, relative to more traditional media formats, suggests that this one way of achieving that much sought after balance -- more consumer contact with higher product recall at a much lower unit cost." Indeed, using the internet means marketing to a global audience and a great example of this was in Australia with this year's Tourism Queensland campaign which managed to get world wide media attention. Simply by advertising 'the best job in the world', the organisation was inundated with international applications. The campaign was launched in January 2009 and became an over night succes s. More than 34,000 applicatio ns from almost 200 countries were received with the UK's Ben Southall announced as the island caretaker in early May. The campaign has so far generated more than $AUD200 million in global publicity value for Queensland. TOLDTO asian A RECENT PATA report reveals online is the way to tap into China. STORY BY JOHANNA MCKINNON GET ONLINE OPERATORS