Tourism industry is all a Twitter
FACEBOOK can boost the Northern Rivers tourism industry, says Tourism Australia's managing director Andrew McEvoy.
He spoke yesterday at Tourism 2020, a symposium hosted by Northern Rivers Tourism at Southern Cross University, Lismore.
The event continues today and focuses on resilience within the industry and realising its potential into the future.
Mr McEvoy said his organisation was working on a campaign to double visitor expenditure by 2020.
That would mean an increase from $70 billion to $140 billion in just nine years.
"We have to win. In tourism, you can't come second," he said.
But he said tourism operators had to work together, not "bicker and fight".
"I feel like this industry has a bit of a reputation for only rallying together behind advertising campaigns," Mr McEvoy said.
"But this (the new Tourism Australia campaign) is about money through your till.
"I think this region fits very much into what Tourism Australia is doing ... there are huge opportunities here.
"Australian tourism is starting to get its mojo back."
Mr McEvoy said the growth in social networking websites, such as Facebook and Twitter, were having huge impacts on the tourism industry.
"People love talking about travel," he said.
"Research has shown that 27% of people make travel decisions based on what their friends are posting on Facebook.
"The Facebook site 'Australia' has 1.8 million friends.
"So we must, must occupy the social media space.
"Tourism is still very much about words and images ... and Tourism Australia will, unashamedly, showcase the best and the brightest of our regions."
- 214,000 international visitors on the Northern Rivers.
- 1.81 million nights.
- They spent $120 million.
- Average spend per visit: $560.