Tourism group tries to lure UK visitors to Australia

LONDON: The tourism body for the Australian state of Victoria has issued a wide-ranging brief as the country battles falling visitor numbers from the UK.

LONDON: The tourism body for the Australian state of Victoria has issued a wide-ranging brief as the country battles falling visitor numbers from the UK.

Tourism Victoria is looking for a public and media relations agency to position Melbourne and the rest of the state as a must-see Australian destination.

Travel from the UK to Australia declined from 2007 and 2011, with a 10.5% drop in travel in 2010-11 alone, according to the Office for National Statistics.

A source said continual increases in Air Passenger Duty, which affects the price of consumers' flights from the UK, have had a huge impact on visitor numbers.

The winning agency will be charged with developing publicity programs to “'communicate, update, and motivate” both the consumer and travel trade media. It wants to boost awareness of the region's opportunities through themes such as city life, natural attractions, and food and wine.

In addition, the body wants to shake off the perception that Melbourne is “Australia's second city” after Sydney, and it aims to develop a program of media visits to promote the status of Melbourne and Victoria as the “sporting and cultural capital” of Australia.

The contract will run until the end of June 2015, with the possibility of an extension. According to well-placed sources, it is worth between £6,000 and £8,000 (about $9,300 to $12,400) monthly. Incumbent Four bgb will re-pitch for the business.

Tourism Victoria will select an agency over the next few weeks to start work in July. Claire Goulding, regional manager of the organization for the UK and Europe, will run the pitch from its London office.

The brief emphasizes the importance of managing digital assets, which include the Visit Melbourne blog and the organization's Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Tourism Victoria said it had not experienced falling tourism numbers and said the review was a process it entered into every few years.

This story originally appeared on the website of PRWeek UK, the sister publication of PRWeek at Haymarket Media.

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