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 July 19, 2001
Australian Tourist Commission Details Operational Changes For 2001/2002

 The Australian Tourist Commission (ATC) has detailed changes to its operations for 2001/02 aimed at placing a greater emphasis on converting awareness and interest in Australia into actual visitation. Managing Director, Mr Ken Boundy, said the ATC's global activities had been reassessed resulting in more emphasis on tactical advertising and promotional activity.

"The coming year is vastly different to previous years. Up until recently there's been an even mix of brand and tactical work. From here on in, we will have a much sharper focus on conversion programs through the greater use of tactical campaigns. However, brand advertising will continue to be used in certain markets where effective," Mr Boundy said.

"Some savings have been identified in administration and overheads and these have been put into marketing and promotion. The bottom line is that these changes will increase the potential for Australia to achieve increased market share.

"Marketing and promotion has changed significantly after the Olympics and the ATC is now working in different ways with many new and existing partners to take advantage of the increased interest and awareness in Australia.

"The changes are evolutionary given Australia's enhanced image after the Olympics, consumer trends, technological advances, increased marketing costs, market conditions and the need for belt tightening.

"Australia's international spending power is reduced due to the level of the Australian dollar. It is about 10 per cent less than we originally expected for 2001/02. Programs have adjusted while fewer staff are required under the changes.

"These changes were the result of proposals put forward by the ATC's senior management team in Australia and overseas. Importantly, the changes don't relate to a wider organisational review that will be completed by the end of September," Mr Boundy said.

"Our commitment to all markets and all segments remains as solid as ever. The changes mean we are just going about our business differently. We have shifted resources between various parts of the world and changed our marketing mix," Mr Boundy said.

"The resulting changes are aimed at delivering the best marketing impact and return on investment for Australian tourism," Mr Boundy said.

The changes in each region are:

New Zealand: The ATC is working closely with the state and territory tourism offices and the travel industry to drive a new experience-based marketing strategy utilising brand, tactical and online promotion. The ATC is scaling back in the incentive and meetings sector, recognising that the state and regional convention bureaux are better equipped to work the market in this region.

Asia: The ATC will reallocate resources in terms of staff and marketing activities. Regional centres in Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur will gain resources in both the consumer and trade areas, while Thailand will be reduced. A refined strategy in India will see the appointment of a public relations agency replacing the current trade representation, while Indonesia will continue with trade representation.

Japan and Korea: Japan has consolidated its previous consumer and trade marketing divisions into one unified team under a single marketing manager, who reports to the Regional Director. The ATC's new structure in Japan emphasises further enhancements to the current business approach including co-marketing programs with powerful industry and non-industry partners, as a more cost-efficient way of maintaining Australia's brand at the same time as building business.

Americas: A restructure has resulted in the MICE Division amalgamating with the Trade Marketing Department. The ATC has a strong commitment to developing the MICE market in North America and we will continue to work with the industry to ensure future growth in business travel to Australia. The ATC's focus in the region will continue to be on maximising the opportunities in the incentive market, developing the corporate meeting sector and assisting bureaux with association convention bids.

Europe, Middle East and South Africa: Whilst adjustments have been made to brand advertising programmes particularly in UK and Germany the ATC will continue to capitalise on a growth of 21 per cent in the last two years. The revised brand strategy of making Australia an achievable two week holiday destination from Europe will continue to be integrated in all marketing.

Sydney: Savings have been achieved through a reduction in overheads, new advertising agency arrangements and reduced capital investment. In addition, the position of Deputy Managing Director has been abolished ahead of the wider restructure.