At Mumbrella’s Travel Marketing Summit, littleBIG Founder, Sally Harley, led a panel discussion with leading tourism operators (and our clients) Meg Dalla Lana, GM Marketing & Customer Experience at Queen Victoria Market; Mark Hemetsberger, Head of External Engagement at Sovereign Hill Museums Association; and Marc Sleeman, CEO of the Grampians Tourism Board.
The group discussed the ‘slow traveller’ – the individuals or groups who choose a region or city to settle into for a week or more and discover it gradually. Big thanks to our panellists for their generous and practical contributions and thanks to Mumbrella and fellow industry for a great day of content and conversations.
Here’s our roundup of the best insights:
1) Slow travellers are a growing audience
A more engaged, “slow,” laidback traveller – keen on sustainability, indigenous stories and other cultural factors – continues to be a growing segment particularly among intrastate visitors.
2) Time spent is down, money spent is up
While the time spent in destination is reducing, yield is up.
3) Travellers want low-risk accomodation
A desire to minimise Covid risks has seen increased demand for self-driven trips and guest-controlled Airbnb-style or campervanning accommodation.
4) Promotion during Covid drove bookings post-lockdown
The Visit Grampians Covid experience demonstrated compellingly that optimising a digital presence early can grow audiences, even when travel isn’t possible. An engaged digital following combined with targeted advertising and influencer campaigns converted into speedy operator bookings for Visit Grampians.
5) The importance of re-inventing to re-invigorate
Covid didn’t create new problems, it just magnified existing ones particularly with regards to creating more urgent reasons for Victorians to visit destinations. For Sovereign Hill, a lasting, dynamic focus on creating innovative products for local intrastate markets was key.
6) Bespoke experiences drive market visitation
Active, animated spaces with more experiences lure locals and visitors. Major partnerships were an invaluable tool for Queen Victoria Market who teamed up with Melbourne Food and Wine Festival and the Melbourne Fringe Festival to bring festival hubs and an extensive program of both food and cultural events to the market. This, in turn, brought new and more bespoke ways to experience the market and increased ‘dwell’ time.
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