Darwin Blog

Tourism NT’s Latest Campaign
Sunday, 2 September, 2007, 5:21 am
Filed under: Observations

Channel Nine news proclaimed last week that Tourism NT is now utilising cyberspace!

I don’t know where Channel Nine has been, but Tourism NT has been utilising the web for quite sometime, but I guess they were making reference to the latest Destination Darwin campaign – which you can check out here – http://www.travelnt.com/en/

The campaign is fresh, colourful and exciting and portrays Darwin in and extremely positive light.

But, I do question the validity of placing a campaign in the national market from this weekend that has quite a bit about the Festival of Darwin, when the Festival has been put to bed for 2007.  Since the campaign is to entice people to travel to the Territory during what is traditionally known as the shoulder season – is it relevant to include the Festival when you can’t actually participate in it and there is nothing remotely looking like it anywhere in town?

The campaign also includes an interview with Malcolm Blaylock, the Director of the Festival.  Nice guy, but you know what, he doesn’t even live here full time.  If he loves it here so much, why hasn’t he made the full transition and commitment to reside in this beautiful city of ours?

Mindl Beach markets are also mention – it won’t be long before they close for the wet season.  I understand that at the moment for the next couple of weeks it is a little hard to get flights and very hard to get accommodation with many people visiting – so by the time people convert their desire to travel here to actual tickets and accommodation bookings – the markets will be over.  Did anyone think to ask the locals what they do during the “Green Season” and incorporate that into the strategy.

Singapore, Malaysia and Bali have all transformed themselves, many years ago, to year round destinations and have successfully maintained the interest – why is it so hard for Darwin?  Maybe we just are sophisticated enough yet and we might be pushing too hard too soon?  Who knows!  Is there lessons to be learnt from our neighbours.  How come it is so easy for Singapore to market itself to us for a weekend away and it doesn’t have to be all about shopping?  I can imagine to many Singaporeans, there just isn’t anything attractive about coming here – we really don’t have great shopping either!

Yet again, Tourism NT has pulled out Jimmy Shu to sell Darwin.  Jimmy does well out of Tourism NT with the amount of free advertising for the Hanuman mentioned throughout the interviews as well being there giving is own hot tips – what about some of the other places available that actually have better food than the Hanuman and believe me there are plenty.

I love how Tourism NT has personalised their marketing approach to pull people into the Territory, but sometimes I have to question what the motive is with the people they pick.  We have yet to see some of the long time residents and real Territory families be incorporated into the marketing to sell the Territory that they love, but perhaps they are just not funky enough for Tourism NT to consider or perhaps they do not want to portray a place you could be tempted to stay.

Perhaps for the next Darwin campaign, Tourism NT could start getting out and meeting some of the other culturally diverse people here in Darwin and have some new faces – the people that have been used to date are just a little to close to those producing the campaigns at Tourism NT.


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