Debates Day 3 - Thursday 1 May 2003
Parliamentary Record 11
Debates for 9th Assembly 2001 - 2005; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 9th Assembly 2001 - 2005
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
DEBATES - Thursday 1 May 2003 We have increased marketing budgets; I have already outlined the international marketing budget. However, we have also added $lm to the domestic tourism campaign, and that stands at $3.8m. There has been quite a lot of criticism from the opposition about that campaign, but it is the largest spend since 1994-95. And yes, some elements of the campaign have started late, but the campaign actually started in March. What I will outline here this afternoon is some of the results of the campaign to date. I hope members will listen to it. It was interesting to hear the member for Araluen. She stood in the House the other day and said: Well, why dont you extend the Arafura May offer over a 12-month period to all domestic tourists who come into the Territory? That would be a great thing. Well, it would be a great thing if we had an extra $60m. I really wonder about the member for Araluen. She comes in here and drops these proposals on the floor of parliament. I wonder whether she talked with her shadow Treasurer, the member for Katherine, because this is an unrealistic proposal. It points to inexperience, first of all, that she has not done the homework on it. It also points to a lack of communication on the other side because they are proposing that money be spent all over the place. Yes, we are spending money over the Arafura May period but it is a very targeted campaign. As I have said, we have a domestic campaign that is the largest spend since - the $3.8m does not include the extra $600 000 that we have committed for the Arafura business, but I guess that brings it to $4.4m, which is a very large spend. So, the domestic campaign has specific elements designed to boost tourism in Central Australia. Let me assure the member for Araluen - she was asking how much of the extra $lm or the $3.8m is going to be spent in Central Australia - that there will be an equitable spend. Central Australia is a very important part of the campaign. In the print campaign that has started, there is an even mix of Central Australian icons, if you like, together with the Top End icons. Central Australia does figure very heavily in the campaign. The member for Araluen called the campaign a farce - that was the word that she used. In a press release, and on the floor of parliament she said: There have only been 12 calls to the Holiday Centre in the first week of the campaign. Wrong, member for Araluen. There were actually 1337 calls in week one, and there have been a total of 8673 calls since the campaign began in March. This an innovative campaign ... Ms Carney inteijecting. Dr BURNS: Just let me continue, member for Araluen. It really has elements that have not been picked up before in campaigns. The member for Araluen mentioned that there have been 500 000 leaflets sent out and only approximately 90 000 refer to Central Australia. What she is really talking about with that 90 000 - yes there was a 500 000 leaflet campaign, which is a letterbox campaign - is actually a direct mail campaign for those who have some experience in marketing. It is just not touching on Central Australia, it is specifically highlighting and encouraging people to come to Central Australia. I know that direct mail is very effective marketing tool. When I was with the Heart Foundation, every cent of the $25m that they raised every year was through marketing, and you could not exist the next year in that organisation if you had not raised that money. So every cent of that $25m is raised. I learned a hell of a lot about marketing through being in that organisation. I know the power of direct mail. I know the power of targeting your audience through your database, and that is exactly what has been done with this direct mail that not only refers to Central Australia; it is all about Central Australia. Also there has been an e-mail campaign. These e-mails went out on 12 March and the NT Tourist Commission had about 3500 hits in the one day around 12 March - 3500 hits resulting from that e-mail campaign. So, far from 12 calls - 1 have not totalled all this up - there are many thousands o f calls there. There are many elements to this campaign. And, yes, member for Araluen, the television ads side of the campaign will not kick in until June. However, I have had feedback from industry members who say that is probably not a bad idea, given that Virgin Blue is coming to Alice Springs around that time, and that people have deferred their travel plans to come to the Territory for all the reasons I have mentioned before. There are some people in the industry who have put very directly to me that they feel that it is too late. However, they have also been quite a significant number of others who have said: We believe in the current circumstance that it is probably a good thing that it is timed the way it is. It is not going to help things by talking the campaign down. I am quite prepared, at the end of the campaign, to present to parliament the results of the campaign. It may very well be that the campaign goes over into the shoulder season, trying to get more visitation during the shoulder season which is something the tourism industry - if the member for Araluen had bothered to talk to the member for Katherine - both in the Top End and moreso in Central Australia has been very successful at. The shoulder season is exactly the season that the member for 3976
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