15 December 2014
Tourism Australia is today celebrating achieving more than a million followers of its @Australia Instagram account.
Tourism Australia Managing Director, John O’Sullivan, said @Australia was the most popular national tourism destination Instagram page in the world, with more followers than the Canadian Tourism Commission (@explorecanada, 131k), Tourism New Zealand (@purenewzealand, 30k), VisitBritain (@lovegreatbritain, 11k) and South Africa Tourism (@meetsouthafrica, 6k) combined.
“This type of advocacy is incredibly valuable to us - an increasingly important and cost effective part of our overall destination marketing strategy. Our followers are posting these images because they have a genuine desire to share their many personal and positive Australian holiday experiences and, by doing so, play a part in promoting a country they love,’ he said.
Mr O’Sullivan said that Tourism Australia’s Instagram page was much more than just ‘big numbers’ and ‘pretty pictures’, and actually played an important role in increasing holiday preference for Australia.
In a survey conducted last week of more than a 1,300 of its Instagram followers, 69% of Australian respondents said they thought posting their photos on Instagram could help promote travel to Australia. 88% said the page had influenced their likelihood of travelling more around Australia.
Amongst international followers, 91% of respondents said @Australia inspired them to find out more about Australia as a holiday destination, with 87% of respondents saying the content made them more likely to travel to Australia. 43% of international respondents said they were currently planning a trip to Australia.
One Australian ex-pat follower currently living in the UK and interviewed in the survey said: “Love your page! I’m Australian living in London, and I use your page to showcase Australia to all my English friends.” One US follower wrote: “I never thought I would want to go to Australia before I joined Instagram. Now I can’t imagine not going! So beautiful.” Another wrote: “I’ll be spending approximately six weeks in Australia next year. I can’t wait to set foot on the continent that’s intrigued me for years.”
“This research shows that the incredible images that we receive and share daily provide inspiration to Australians and international travellers alike to visit and explore our country. And, importantly, our Instagram page is inspiring would be visitors to take the next step and find out more – whether that be clicking through to a tourism operator’s website, visiting australia.com or starting an internet search,” Mr O’Sullivan said.
Mr O’Sullivan said one of the biggest benefits of having such a large Instagram following was being able to provide a platform for Australian tourism businesses to showcase their product and experiences to a global audience.
“This is great for Australian tourism and particularly for those operators who are positively embracing social media and using platforms such as our Instagram page to promote their own tourism business,” he said.
Ayers Rock Resort is one tourism business which has benefited from incorporating Instagram into its global marketing activities.
“There is no doubt that powerful images draw international visitors to Australia, and we have certainly seen this with our own @exploreuluru Instagram account here at the resort. We have worked closely with the social media team at Tourism Australia to amplify our posts to great effect,” said Ray Stone, Voyages Executive General Manager Sales, Marketing and Distribution.
Tourism Australia's social media team has published a presentation outlining how it uses its @Australia Instagram page to inspire the world to travel to and through Australia. This can be viewed at http://www.slideshare.net/TourismAustralia