Mantra hotels chief tips Asian boom time
TOURISM operators have been told they will miss out on the Asia Century if they do not act now on the opportunity on the doorstep.
Mantra hotel group chief executive officer Bob East said Asia was “a once-in-a-life opportunity”.
He was a keynote speaker at the National Tourism and Events Excellence Conference in Melbourne yesterday.
“Australia has an unprecedented opportunity to capitalise on the emerging Asian market,” Mr East said.
“Not only are we ideally located to Asia we are building relationships with our neighbours through the mining resources boom.
“As the number of middle class Asians rises from 500 million to 3.2 billion the number of outbound trips will proliferate.
“As low-cost carriers emerge the affordability of travel is further enhanced. If Australia does not capitalise on these mega trends other countries will.
“By focusing on marketing and rela-tionships, urban form and service exp-ertise, Australia can position itself as a preferred tourism destination. At pre-sent we are missing the opportunity.”
Y&R Brands Australia and New Zealand chief executive officer Russel Howcroft said Germans liked the Australia brand but Italians did not.
“The Brits think we are fading. For the most part Australia as a brand has been slipping in the wrong direction over the last nine to 13 years, according to Brand Asset Valuator’s global study.
“Australia is seen to be a very different kind of brand.
“It often struggles to make the right relevant connection and definitely struggles to make the right value and quality perceptions that yield esteem.
“Which is a shame because when we analyse what happens, when people do come and visit us, we see an incredible rise in their assessment of Brand Australia.”
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