Insights into US and Canada from the US Summit and Marketplace

Australia’s South West (ASW) represented the Margaret River Region last month at the US Summit and Marketplace, as part of the MOU between MRBTA and ASW formed last year.

Acting ASW CEO Catrin Allsop undertook over 100 appointments and presentations with product managers, Premium Aussie Specialists and US-based media, and has provided us with the following report containing valuable insights into the US and Canada markets:

Show description

Australia Marketplace brings together over 100 buyers from North American travel companies with 100 Australian tourism products for two and a half days of one-on-one appointments and networking opportunities.Destination NSW, the South Australian Tourism Commission, Tourism and Events Queensland, Tourism Northern Territory, Tourism Tasmania, Visit Victoria and Tourism Western Australia, in conjunction with major event sponsor Tourism Australia, organizes the North American Australia Marketplace Hotel in Pasadena, Los Angeles, California.

Market insights

  • ASW met with Buyers and Premium Aussie Specialists that represent multiple markets, including US and Canada.
  • Arrivals for WA are up 19% and spend up 10% – The holiday segment is up a whopping 47% with a 20% dispersal!
  • California is the no.1 outbound state followed by Texas, NY and Florida.
  • Recent TWA marketing partnerships are Qantas and Air NZ , as well as Consortia partnerships such as Virtuoso, with Virgin to follow this year. There continues to be a focus on coastal and aquatic through TA
  • View international insights here: http://www.tourism.wa.gov.au/Publications%20Library/Research%20and%20reports/USA%20Market%20Summary%202015.pdf

ASW objectives

  • Educate key Buyers with more in depth destination and product knowledge.
  • Provide opportunities to meet influential ITO’s and product managers to encourage them to include ASW product and regional information in their itineraries.
  • Build on existing relationships with WA focused wholesalers.
  • Opportunities to network and meet with key stakeholders in the industry to develop partnerships for the future
  • Train Premium Aussie Specialists with updated and alternative product options. Provide itinerary development support.

ASW stand/presentation

  • Individual desk with ASW holiday planners, maps and fact sheets on the desk. Margaret River Chocolate samples.
  • Promotion of Australia’s South West included 10 minute presentations detailing how to experience the South West on a five night itinerary. Participating member product was talked about during the presentation.
  • Presentation, holiday planner, map, itineraries, list of international ready and new product, images and participating member product profile included on the USB distributed to delegates or through eDM with dropbox links post event.
  • South West was promoted further during networking and media events.

Results from meetings

All the above objectives were met, with all of the meetings high quality with delegates already actively working in the Australian market and keen to continue or start selling Western Australia.
Key points to note from the meetings and show are:

  • The promotion of the five night itinerary showcasing how to “do” the region was well received. Interesting to note how many of the Premium Aussie Specialists were familiar with WA and the ASW region.
  • Luxury product and experiences are very much sought after for high end clients.
  • The Tourism Australia aquatic and coastal campaign has been well received, along with G’day USA and many were keen to know about these experiences in the South West. TA’s
    Greatest Walks program, and Ultimate Winery experiences of particular interest.
  • Many asked for unique experiences, what was different from the east coast, and particularly around gourmet food and wine, and premium guided tours.
  • Nature and soft adventure experiences continue to remain popular with the US market.

Insights on market behaviour post show

Insights on the markets remain the same as detailed above. There was a noticeable theme that all markets are wanting new, unique, luxury and diverse experiences, which is what the South West can offer. Action items:

  • Each company met has received a follow up email including specific information they asked for.
  • Each ASW member participant is to receive this report as well as the database of companies met.
  • Recommendation for operators head to http://coastnorthamerica.com/ The coalition of Australian States and Territories (COAST) resource tool to assist Australian Product Suppliers with industry contacts and resources for product development and implementing independent sales calls to the North American market.

Learnings

Continue to face strong competition with not just the east coast but world-wide. Need to continue to promote our diverse coastline, nature/outdoor and premium offerings as well as new experiences. Itineraries are vital to show trade how to get around the region.

Key to conversion is to be part of Tourism Australia’s Aussie Specialist program as the agents here in the US are part of large consortias and Premier Aussie Specialists are held in high regard and are very knowledgeable. http://www.tourism.australia.com/programs/aussie-specialists-program.aspx

Additional activity – famils

Famils are being prepared for 2017 now for the US market. ASW is assisting TWA in the itinerary and hosting of the famils.

Become a member of ASW

Australia’s South West members receive increased prominence at trade shows, as well as details of all contacts made at shows. Other benefits include inclusion in marketing activities domestically and internationally, both with travel trade and direct to consumer. Visit the ASW website for further information.

Learn more