Destination Southern Tasmania
Destination Marketing Plan 2020-2024
The Southern Tasmania Region is a microcosm of all of Tasmania’s key brand strengths of nature, wilderness, aquatic, food and produce, history and heritage experiences.
Whilst Hobart is the epicentre of the Region, the Region is comprised of many unique support acts in particular the display of Australian convict heritage on Tasman Peninsula; the clear waters and stunning coast line of Bruny Island and the D’Entrecasteaux Channel; the waterways and wilderness, orchards and vineyards of the Huon Valley; the Far South as the gateway to the Tasmanian Wilderness Wold Heritage Area; the charming early colonial history and architecture dotted along the Midland Highway; the food bowl and adventure playground in the Derwent Valley and the rolling hills and rugged mountain wilderness of the Central Highlands. Each diverse and prominent, but together true representation of Tasmania’s brand strengths.
With a burgeoning visitor economy, and huge potential for growth, Destination Southern Tasmania (DST) engaged us to work with key stakeholders to collaboratively develop a Destination Marketing Plan for their stunning part of Tasmania.
The Plan outlines key tactics on how to identify and amplify the place DNA and storytelling for each of these destinations, so to enhance their individual destination travel propositions, whilst together building a united regional voice.
The overarching goal for the Plan was to increase tourism visitation, expenditure, employment and development to the Region.
To achieve this Goal, we identified a number of objectives that the Plan would support, including:
- To provide a clear vision which can be articulated to internal and external stakeholders
- To provide value to DST members
- To identify budgets required to deliver the outcomes over the life of the Plan
- Competitively position the destination, in comparison to other Tasmanian Regions, to capitalise on the growth of the state’s visitor economy
Destination Situation Analysis
In order to develop a relevant and reliable Plan for the region, it was essential to undertake a comprehensive Situation Analysis. This gave us a birds eye view of the state of play, which then helped to identify where the opportunities were for the Region.
The methodology used to gather the information to inform the Situation Analysis was two-fold, an Online Survey and numerous 1:1 individual meetings.
The online survey captured over 40+ responses which helped to confirm many of the opportunities identified in our own desktop research. Numerous local government, industry and state government stakeholders were also engaged to establish a state of play, particularly around specific sectors of the visitor economy.
Overall, 50+ stakeholders were engaged in this project, who identified many opportunities and challenges across the destination, which were vital in informing the new Plan.
Plan Development, Delivery and Adoption
Once we had established a detailed situation analysis of the Region, we could then combine these insights with our own knowledge and expertise to develop the Destination Marketing Plan.
The Plan was then presented to the DST Marketing Committee and was adopted shortly thereafter.
Not long after finalising our Plan the summer 2019/2020 Bushfires and COVID-19 hit, but this didn't stop the team at Destination Southern Tasmania kicking massive goals implementing the strategy.
Some of the key results over the past year are highlighted below.
Website Marketing achievements
- Search Engine Optimisation – webpages consistently average 9 – 10 in search rankings on google (as per their Search Console Data)
- Website traffic for the year – despite the impacts of bushfires, Covid-19, and global events: their website traffic for the year was up 17.88%
- Consumer first approach saw organic website traffic increase by 27%, while social referral from our digital channels has increased by 18%
- Page views through to blogs is up 82% (from 58,000 in 18/19 to 106,000 in 19/20).
- Average time on the website (overall) has increased from 1:25 to 1:52.
Social Media achievements
- Hosted two Instameets (Tasman Peninsula and the Huon Valley Mid-Winter Festival 2019), with more than 40 photographers on each event from around the state.
- 12% increase in followers on Instagram
- 9% increase in fans on Facebook
- Average engagement rate per post of 2.28% (industry standard is 1.22%)
- Maintained reach of 3 million individuals for the year (despite the challenging year in social)
Paige and Rebecca brought best practice destination marketing into our strategy and action plan for implementation which has led to significant year on year growth with our digital assets (this during Australia’s worst bushfire season and a global pandemic) in the first year of implementation.
Working with Tourism eSchool has been a great process. They conducted an extremely thorough analysis of the region and its product offering, as well as auditing the various digital channels we were responsible for. They also supported the team in building capabilities internally and growing knowledge (consumer trends, best practice, what works and doesn’t with destination marketing, SEO), which in turn has helped us evolve our digital activities, membership benefits, and work with local tourism associations in a new way in the marketing space (just to name a few)!