2011 Prospectus Launch Speech @ Comme
Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen,
This evening I begin by noting the beginning of the Chinese New Year and the Year of the Rabbit – a year that will reward creativity, compassion and sensitivity.
Melbourne really is a multicultural city – it is our diversity and sense of place that makes us so attractive as a destination.
Over the Christmas holidays had the opportunity to reflect on why there is such a buzz around Destination Melbourne and the tourism industry in Melbourne.
It is because together we are building a community. More than 250 people are here as part of the Destination Melbourne community and we are very glad that you could make it.
A healthy community encourages different points of view, diversity and innovation. We get excited by change and the possibilities it brings rather than intimidated.
This is one of the reasons why we are so enthusiastic about sustainability. We see lots of opportunity for the tourism industry if we get with the program and pursue green goals.
We have identified a number of opportunities for industry to get active – Earthcheck, Grow Me the Money and the Monash Sustainability Institute are all featured and they have all come to the party to make your journey towards sustainability more affordable.
Destination Melbourne is also getting excited by the Melbourne Bike Share Scheme.
You may recall in early December that people were having another crack at the blue bikes and questioning whether they were going to work.
Inspired by this criticism and very much aware of how important this service is for visitors and residents, the team at DML decided that we are going to get behind the program and do our bit to encourage the tourism industry to give it a go.
As you know the primary barrier to using the blue bikes is access to helmets – while I understand that 7 eleven are now selling helmets at $5 a pop, we think there is a great opportunity for the tourism industry to make a visible statement.
We have purchased 250 blue bike helmets and will be giving one to each of you this evening on the understanding that you will use it, or give it to someone that will use it while riding a blue bike…
By demonstrating positive leadership in this space, we can all help influence the behaviour of our friends, relatives and guests.
The tourism industry has incredibly strong word of mouth and if we work together, we can make the Blue Bike Program work.
It is time for us to foot on the pedal and support the scheme.
Speaking of getting behind project that will make a difference…
Destination Melbourne is excited and delighted to be working in partnership with Tourism Victoria on development of tactical marketing activity for Phase 10.
I have seen the campaign design and it will present a compelling offer that will elevate Melbourne again in the eyes of consumers across Australia.
One of the challenges that we face as Melbourne’s most popular domestic destination is how we grow the market.
We cannot be content – simply to take share. This campaign will place Melbourne at the forefront of Australian leisure market for a long time to come if industry get behind it and are prepared to support it. Together we can grow the cake.
You have to take my word this is a brilliant campaign… I ask everyone here to think about how they can get behind the campaign (sight unseen) and support the work of Tourism Victoria locally and further afield.
This is a campaign that will be easy to support – I know that Tourism Victoria want our help as an industry – we have the power of numbers behind us and enormous capacity for word of mouth influence.
Yes we welcome the participation of the accommodation houses in the winter campaign which will be fully integrated with the Phase 10 campaign.
We also need you as leaders within the industry to talk the campaign up – brief your staff, your shareholders – please share this story with your customers, your friends and your family.
When the Phase 10 is finally revealed please be prepared to be confronted, inspired and enthralled.
This campaign will reach its market and have a significant positive impact. It is also a rallying point for the tourism industry. It is aspirational, it is inspirational and it is Melbourne.
The Official Visitor Guide has been the bedrock of every effective tourism strategy in Melbourne for over a decade – I cannot think of one successful tourism business or destination in Melbourne that is not well represented in the guide – it is the bible.
Over the last 12 months we have reinvested tens of thousands of dollars in revamping and redeveloping brochure racks at the Airport, Skybus Southern Cross and MCEC.
We recognise strong and effective distribution in the right place and at the right time is absolutely critical to the success of our publications and most importantly our advertisers.
We have watched, digested and considered the online revolution and how it is changing the way people plan, research and enjoy their holidays.
When visitors are in the destination there is no doubt that after word of mouth, publications are still king and will remain so for some time to come.
However we are also committed to making sure that the tourism industry in Melbourne is not left behind… that opportunities are provided that enable businesses to ride the digital wave as a part of a collective effort.
We have also been really mindful that whatever Destination Melbourne does, it has to deliver a quantifiable return to industry and add value to the visitor experience.
To that end I am pleased to announce that we are partnering with Tourism Victoria to take the Winter OVG online and turn it into an iPad app.
You will also be pleased to know that we will not be charging the industry for this enhancement. This will be a value add for people who are already advertising in the Official Visitor Guide to Melbourne.
Depending on the response by consumers to the first online edition of the OVG, we will then look at ways to enhance the useability and functionality of the online OVG.
If the industry and consumers respond positively, we will extend this product to further editions.
Our underpinning commitment will be to ensure that basic display advertising in the online OVG remains free of charge to existing advertisers.
At the same time we are excited by the technology that sits behind tablets such as iPads and think there is significant opportunity for enhancements if the industry is prepared to co-invest.
No presentation at Prospectus launch would be complete with a reference to Maps!
Last year we announced that we would double production of Official Visitor Maps to Melbourne at with minimal increase in cost to advertisers.
This year thanks to the development of a terrific partnership with Metlink we are planning to lift production to nearly a million copies – with no extra cost to industry beyond CPI
We will see a rationalisation of collateral in the marketplace and an increased focus on the quality of the visitor experience.
Would particularly like to acknowledge Terese Scalise from Metlink, who has been the driving force behind this new initiative.
Metlink and its stakeholders: Yarra Trams, Metro Trains and VLine are serious about tourism. I encourage you to approach Terese and Metlink to see how you might be able to identify ways of building links with public transport.
As you are aware a number of Victorian regions have been adversely affected by floods and natural events – Destination Melbourne has put out newsletters and blogs encouraging the industry to support these regions in recovery by visiting them for short breaks and holidays.
By taking a break in these flood affected regions, we are actually injecting cash flow, helping to generate local employment and coming back to Melbourne with positive stories to tell about the recovery and our experiences.
To help entice people back into the region we are giving away two door prizes this evening worth a thousand dollars each – one to the Murray and Echuca – Moama and the other to the Grampians.
Destination Melbourne has identified industry events and online communication as the key methods to bring the industry together and encourage open communication and collaboration.
You will see a major overhaul of the Destination Melbourne website, a steady stream of correspondence, opinions and news from us including eNewsletters, media releases and blogs.
Destination Melbourne hold events so that you can come together, network, do business and learn about new products and ideas. We encourage you to participate.
To that end I would like announce that we will be co-hosting the Tourism Industry Launch of Tutankhamen at the Melbourne Museum on April 4th. It will be the first launch event held at the museum. You will be invited and will be the first Melbournians outside of the Museum staff and event organisers to see the exhibition. We look forward to seeing you there.
Finally would like to thank Matt Irwin who generously allowed us to use his images this evening – beautiful images of our beautiful city.
Have a great evening and may the year of the rabbit bring you good fortune and success.
By Chris Buckingham [2011/02/10 10:01]
Tags: Airport, Bike, Chinese New Year, compassion, creativity, Destination Melbourne, DML, Earthcheck, Grow me the Money, MCEC, Melbourne, Monash, Offical Visitor Guide, Phase 10, sensitivity, Skybus, Southern Cross, tourism, tourism industry, Tourism Victoria