Celebrating Victoria's Top Tourism Towns

Top Tourism Town Awards recognise and celebrate towns that offer amazing visitor experiences.

 

This year is the first time Victoria has participated in the Top Tourism Towns Awards, and we are thrilled that 22 towns across Victoria chose to enter.

 

These awards are an opportunity to showcase the value of tourism to towns and communities across Australia and celebrate the diversity and outstanding regional destinations Australia has to offer.

 

For the first time the Top Tourism Town Awards will also be included in the Australian Tourism Awards.   So not only will towns be competing at a state level, the Gold winner in each state will judged at a national level and recognised as the Top Tourism Town in Australia.

 

The Top Tourism Town Awards recognise and reward towns that:

  • Demonstrate a strong commitment and encourage tourism and increased visitation to their destination
  • Offer an excellent visitor experience, and
  • Exhibit collaboration between tourism operators, local businesses and the community as they work together to make their town the best destination it can be

 

Submissions from entrants have been through a judging process, and are now open to public voting.     The judges score and the consumer vote will then be combined to determine the winners.

 

Public voting is an ENORMOUS opportunity for entrants to encourage their community, their visitors and their followers to VOTE for them.

 

Towns who actively promote voting are not only increasing their chances of winning the award, they promoting and reminding their locals, their visitors and potential visitors what a great place their town is to visit – and that can only be good for their visitor economy.

 

Congratulations to the following towns who are finalist in the Victorian Top Tourism Town Awards (VOTE NOW):

 

  • Aireys Inlet
  • Apollo Bay
  • Avoca
  • Ballarat
  • Beaufort
  • Bendigo
  • Dromana
  • Dunkeld
  • Fingal
  • Frankston
  • Great Western
  • Halls Gap
  • Heathcote
  • Jamieson
  • Lakes Entrance
  • Mallacoota
  • Nagambie
  • Paynesville
  • Port Fairy
  • San Remo
  • Swan Hill
  • Timboon

All the very best to all entrants in the 2021 Top Tourism Town Awards.

 

VOTE NOW

 

Our founder, Alison McDowell has been a judge for the Victorian Tourism Awards since 2015, and a judge for the Victorian Top Tourism Town Awards since 2021.

 


What do resilient businesses do differently?

Why did some businesses bounce back more quickly after Victoria’s year of double disasters?  What did these businesses do differently?

Victoria University and Victorian Tourism Industry Council collaborated to investigate the impacts of crises on the Victorian visitor economy to develop strategies to help the industry build resilience to future crises and shocks.

So why did some businesses fair better during 2020 the year of double disasters – bushfire and pandemic?   What did they do differently?   The report identified that the most resilient businesses had strengths in planning, were connected and collaborated – working on their business before the double disasters put them in good stead to the resilient.

We believe the learnings from this report can be adapted to any business and any industry, and provide us all with an opportunity to build resilience in our own businesses and industries.

The top-line learnings from the report were:

Resilient businesses are;

  • Accredited
  • Connected and Collaborate
  • Technology users
  • Planners
  • Leaders

Resilient destinations have:

  • Strategic Tourism plans
  • Collaborative leadership
  • Regulatory support
  • Stakeholder engagement & Communication

Beneath these findings it was also identified that businesses and destinations that had a Risk Analysis within their suit of business planning tools where more likely to bounce back more quickly.   While no one would have considered a pandemic as a risk, having considered other risks to their business and how to manage these was a learned skill that these businesses were able to quickly adapt to the pandemic.

It should also be noted that businesses who had previously entered the Tourism Awards were more agile, resilient and also bounced back more quickly than other businesses - another testament to businesses who have business and marketing plans in place were better prepared, able to pivot and weather the storm.

We would also suggest that successful brands didn't ‘go dark’ during 2020 and maintained relationships with their customers, and increased their share of voice in the market will result in bouncing back faster.  We know that brands who go dark loose share of voice in market, and their space is taken up by competitors.  The result - brands that go dark are slower to recover and often never really catch up.   On the other hand brands that maintain or grow their share of voice in market during difficult times are more likely to thrive in sales and profit growth.

If you’d like to learn more, click on the link to the report.   Or if you would like to chat though your business resilience and how we can help you give Ali a call on 0411 135 317 or email alison@roadmapstrategy.com.au

 

 

Victoria University - Building The Resilience of Tourism Destinations to Disasters:

The 2020 Victorian Bushfires and COVID-19 Pandemic - April 2021

https://www.vu.edu.au/sites/default/files/tourism-resilience-report.pdf

 


Brands getting it right

No question, 2020 has been a shocker for many brands, and as we enter 2021 we will need to come to terms with how we navigate the recession.

Research of the past four recessions shows each has followed the same pattern, some businesses don’t survive, most take three years to get back to where they were, and 9% flourished.

So what did those who flourish do differently:

  • Balance between cost cutting and operational spend
  • Increased marketing, R&D and new assets
  • Cost cutting focused on improving operational efficiency rather than cutting staff
  • Stayed closely connected to their customers needs
  • Increased their share of voice

Businesses who maintained or grew their advertising spend during recessions not only set the company up to survive the recession, but they thrived in the period that followed.

This result has nothing to do with the recession, it has everything to do with advertising share of voice.  Simplistically, if you are the only brand in the market advertising and promoting yourselves, your brand becomes the only brand in the segment for the consumer.

While during the recession it is likely you will experience a reduced return on your advertising investment, you will likely increase market share, and once the economy improves your chance to maintain market share is strong.

The choice is yours, you can stay brand bright, maintain and grow your market share, and attract customers from your competitors………..….. or you can go dark.

What are you going to do?

 


Delivering the spirit of Christmas

The festive season begins when Christmas ads are released, and each year we share our thoughts on the John Lewis & Partners Christmas ad.

But this year is different, never before have brands and agencies been more challenged by variables such as audience state of mind, stage of lockdown, brutal trading conditions and not knowing if or how their audience come together this Christmas.

In the UK, they are going back into lockdown, with John Lewis & Partners having let go 1,500 staff and closed 8 stores.  It’s tough, and they needed to correctly read the community mood, as a misstep could have hurt their customers and damage their brand.

John Lewis & Partners have nailed it again.   Their ‘Give A Little Love’ campaign shows how important simple acts of kindness are, and they are encouraging everyone to undertake small acts of kindness to spread a little love across the UK.  In addition, the campaign aims to raise GDP 4 million for local charities FareShare and Home-Starts.

On the other side of the world Coca-Cola has delivered a highly emotional ad that will support their brand building strategy.   This ad says to its audience that Coca-Cola understands them, what’s important to them, and they have similar family values.

This emotional connection will rise above superficial pricing and convenience meaning customers stay loyal for the long haul and are less likely to defect to competitors.  But is it enough to offset the push against sugary drinks?   Well that remains to be seen.

These are two great Christmas ads with different goals and different audiences.   We hope you enjoy both of them.

 

 

 

 


Business marketing needs are changing

Businesses are reviewing their operation and their marketing performance, we are seeing demands of marketing effort fluctuate, freezes put on staff, and adjustments made to budgets.

An emerging trend from this change is the rise of Marketing Partner Agencies.

So what is a Marketing Partner Agency?   It’s an agency that provides marketing operational and/or management staff together with specialised support services ie marketing and brand strategy, social media, creative, media buying, web development, and PR.

The benefits of having a Marketing Partner Agency is flexibility, on-call support and access to marketing specialists.   A Marketing Partner Agency can provide a safe set of hands for your day-to-day marketing operational needs, staff for one off campaigns or project work, access to a strategic team and specialists when you need them.

Roadmap Strategy is a Marketing Partner Agency.   If you would like to know more about how we work, or chat through your marketing challenge and explore how we can help, give Ali a call on 0411 135 317.


The risk of going dark

It might be tempting, easier, and maybe even save you a few bucks by letting your brand go dark, but the result could be catastrophic for your business.

Your customers care about your brand, and personally invest in your business and what you do. They want your brand to be successful, they want to share your story, and their experiences with your product with their family and friends.

However, if you go dark, you risk a competitor or alternative product grabbing your customers attention, and the place in their heart that you once owned.

Increasingly, your Marketing Partner or agency are critical to help guide and support you through this period of change.

Consider the following
1. Do you need to adjust your business goals?
2. Have your customers’ needs changed?
3. Does your product need to be adjusted?
4. Can your marketing effort deliver better results?

We encourage all businesses to bring their external Marketing Partners to the table to work with you help you review your approach and reach out to your audience with the right message, at the right time, in the right place to achieve your marketing and business goals.


MONA - a brand thinking differently

Mona - Museum of Old and New Art are beaming 49 search lights 15km into the night sky every Saturday from sunset to sunrise until they reopen.

The light instillation is a work called ‘spectra’ by artist Ryoji Ikeda and can be seen up to 100kms from Hobart, reaching over 250,000 people. In addition, this monumental installation is live streamed to a global audience through Facebook.

As always MONA is being noticed, be it through media promoting ‘spectra’ or locals and people across the globe experiencing MONA from the safety of their own home.

MONA is maintaining connection with its locals and potential visitors to keep everyone engaged and their brand top of mind, until they can travel and visit again.
Mona, a brands not going dark.

Marketing in a recession

Australia is about to go into a recession, we have been warned, we have been there before and know how it plays out. Albert Einstein once said “If you want to know the future, look at the past.”

So let’s have a look at the past.

Businesses who maintained or grew their advertising spend during recessions not only set the company up to survive the recession, but they thrived in the period that followed.

This result has nothing to do with the recession, it has everything to do with advertising share of voice. Simplistically, if you are the only brand in the market advertising and promoting yourselves, your brand becomes the only brand in the segment for the consumer.

While during the recession it is likely you will experience a reduced return on your advertising investment, you will likely increase market share, and once the economy improves your chance to maintain market share is strong.

The alternative is your brand goes dark, loses market share, loses customers to competitors and has to start again.

What are you going to do?


The localism drum is beating

For some time, people have been discussing slowing down, engaging in more meaningful experiences, searching for human connection and embracing a sense of community.

This is not new news, but have we been listening?

People have been escaping to their neighbourhood, engaging and connecting with local experiences, and when they head further afield, searching for villages, makers and authentic connections. But have we been listening?

And then came along COVID-19.

Locals continue to be passionate about the place they live, and want local businesses and people to be prosperous, happy and connected.

Successful businesses are maintaining and building new relationships with their community, through storytelling, advertising, promotion and great customer service. These businesses haven’t gone dark, they are focused on their share of voice and building an army of local ambassadors who will encourage their friends, relatives and visitors to support them as we move out of COVID-19 and beyond.

How are you building your market share?