Tourism Backlash in Europe

Now is the summer of their discontent.
A story illustrating what happens when enough tourism is too much, driven by the “disruption” of online booking channels like Airbnb, cruise tourism, and the rise of tourist numbers to locations made popular in films and online TV shows.
We already see this in our region, with the overwhelming number of people climbing Mt Warning, – now more than 100,000 per year according to some sources, beginning to diminish that experience for many people, the hoards of visitors to Byron Bay, and other locations where “flash tourism” experiences can wreak havoc on local communities.
This trend needs to be addressed by local councils, DTOs and operators now, before it becomes a problem of a similar magnitude in our region.
While there’s only so much supply and demand which can enable individual operators to “price themselves out of the market”, local councils, state and federal governments have a critical role to play in what is now becoming a double edged sword, and needs a delicate balance.
Lord Howe Island and Bhutan both spring to mind as good examples of places where visitation and access models are used to proactively manage visitor numbers, in order to protect fragile environments, World Heritage listed properties, and the interests and cultural lifestyles of local communities.
Can anyone else provide other examples of destinations which have planning and administration programmes in place, to actively manage visitor and tourism numbers for the benefit of the environment and local communities ahead of the “free market”?


Sunday Summary #travelbiz

Welcome to the first Sunday Summary for #travelbiz posts and shares across the Big Volcano social media networks, based on what interested us, and what our Facebook and Google Plus colleagues thought was interesting enough to like or share as well.

bbutclda Photo: Border Ranges National Park, © by Big Volcano Tourism

This is an In Case You Missed It (ICYMI) and might also amount to being TL:DR; (Too Long, Didn’t Read) post.

These items are from our Facebook, Google Plus Byron Bay or Google Plus Big Volcano Tourism Marketing & Media pages.

From January 28th: One of my favourite curated papers: Travel Tech Weekly Insights #travelbiz #tech

And this post on Jan 31st was popular: How Turkey Home Grew Its Facebook Presence by 3 Million Followers Last Year #travelbiz #destinationmarketing

From February 3rd: Don’t Believe Media Placements Are Impossible: Success Secrets Revealed #travelbiz #marketingbiz  This is an excellent reminder that online isn’t the only game in town for marketing and promotions.

If you’re a Tour Guide, this food tourism article from Feb 10th will be of interest if you’re not already tapping into the growing “ foodie” market: ICYMI: 6 Charts Showing State of Food Tourism With Tour Operators #travelbiz #foodies

And here’s one for the locals, on 14th Feb; Gold Coast No.5 on trips across the ditch for Kiwis, with Melbourne and Sydney topping the list #travelbiz #visitbigvolcano #goldcoast

Where would we be without an article about an OTA’s methods? Shared on Feb 28th;

Expedia Relentlessly Tests the Science of User Experience and Vacation Planning #travelbiz #OTAs #marketingscience  The wide ranging article not only provides insights about the current practices and future direction of Expedia, but probably of the online travel industry generally.  Well worth the 5-10 minute reading time.

On Mar 5th, there was another article about Google removing CPC ads from search results. > Google’s Move Away From Right-Rail Ads: The Hotel Marketer’s Action Plan #travelbiz  with the rather startling observation that, “the average travel consumer takes about 17 days, eight research sessions, 18 site visits, and six clicks before making a hotel booking (Google Research).”

It went on to say that “…a successful multichannel campaign that includes SEO, SEM GDN, mobile marketing, social media, online media and retargeting, dynamic rate marketing and email marketing reaches potential guests at every touchpoint of the travel planning process with one cohesive message across channels, capitalizing on key customer micro-moments across devices.”

<start self promotion> OK, so we’ll put our oar in here and say that if you’re a Ballina, Byron, Tweed, Gold Coast hinterland tourism operator who wants to get additional reach and channel “touchpoints”, then is a local web site established since 1997, and we’ve got a limited number of places available for local accommodation and tour operators, to give you the exposure you want.

On Mar 6th, we shared the continued battle between OTAs (Online Travel Agencies/Aggregators) and operators direct web sites, for the hearts and wallets of travellers with this optimistic article from Tnooz:  Consumers finding trust in hotels websites over other sources says study #travelbiz #reviews #bookings

On Mar 7th, this gem from Destination Queensland, with a post offering a wealth of useful information.; 2015 DestinationQ Forum, Townsville Thursday 8 – Friday 9 October 2015. #travelbiz #destinationmarketing #qld

And finally, from yesterday Mar 12th, the news that NSW and QLD tourism operators to showcase NSW and QLD in China #travelbiz #nsw #china  The Greater China Mission will be held in partnership with Destination NSW and Tourism and Events Queensland from 13 – 19 March 2016 in Xiamen and Beijing.

Nimbin shows its true face to village visitors

Sometimes truth in advertising works, especially if what you’re selling is authenticity.

Faces of Nimbin is a new marketing campaign that taps into the rich diversity of Nimbin’s community, debunking the stereotypical image of the village often portrayed in mainstream media.

Darren Butcher_resize 
Photo caption:  Nimbin baker Darren Butcher

The concept was dreamed up by the Nimbin Marketing Campaign Focus Group, made up of local business people and community representatives.  It is part of a broader marketing campaign, funded with $120,000 from Destination NSW and the North Coast Destination Network, which was designed to boost tourism following the 2014 fires that destroyed the Nimbin Museum, Rainbow Café, Tribal Magic and Bringabong.

Fifteen locals have been chosen for the Faces of Nimbin campaign and will be featured on Nimbin’s tourism website and in social media campaigns, including the Slow Living magazine’s Facebook site.

Local personalities include former Lismore City Councillor and Nimbin Apothecary owner Diana Roberts, psychic reader Jazmine Theodora, Eltham Valley Pantry operator Ashlee Jones, Nimbin baker Darren Butcher and Nimbin Pub manager and celebrant Debbie Guest.

Lismore City Council’s Tourism Services Coordinator Andrew Walker said the combination of beautiful photographs by local photographer NATSKY and personal stories gives visitors an insight into Nimbin’s real community, behind the T-shirt slogans and newspaper headlines.

“Nimbin is a melting pot of so many interesting people – in fact, the reason Nimbin is so special is because it allows for such diversity and visitors get to see and feel that right on the street,” Andrew said.

Debbie Guest_resize
Photo caption: Nimbin Pub manager and celebrant Debbie Guest

“Nimbin is so much more than what the mainstream media would have you believe. Behind the headlines is a fascinating village full of thinkers, artisans, comedians, activists, farmers and talented people with myriad beliefs, pastimes and talents.

“Some of the ‘faces’ we feature have the most extraordinary stories to tell. It is that richness of human experience that makes Nimbin like no other destination in the world.”

The Faces of Nimbin campaign begins on 8 January and the first stage will run until Easter. Lismore + Nimbin Tourism hopes to continue the campaign with more local faces in the future.

Media enquiries: Tourism Services Coordinator Andrew Walker 0409 367 679.


Lismore City Council Media Release

See also Big Volcano Visitor Guide Volcano Towns – Nimbin and Volcano Towns – Lismore

Hooray for Olleywood

What is it about Ballina?

With Burns Point, a current film in production written by local Chris Blackburn, and PJ Hogan (“Muriel’s Wedding”), filming the feature “Mental” in Ballina in 2012, not to mention a slew of other film and TV productions in the region recently, you could be forgiven if locals started referring to the town as “Balliwood”.

And why not?  After all, there’s only so much Big Prawn you can eat, and with the opening of the Margaret Olley Art Centre, already dubbed “Olleywood”, complete with sign, at the Tweed Regional Gallery in Murwillumbah last month, variations on the theme seem to be very appropriate at the moment.

Olleywood sign

Olleywood sign, Tweed Regional Gallery, Murwillumbah, NSW, Australia

Bland officially joins Dull and Boring to lure tourists

First there was Dull and Boring. Now Bland, a rural community in New South Wales, has teamed up with the two banal-sounding towns in Scotland and the United States in a three-way effort to attract tourists.

Dull and Boring basically have a tourism relationship. We heard about it and thought it would be even better if it became Bland, Dull and Boring,

Neil Pokoney, the mayor of Bland Shire, said on Tuesday.

via Read more >> “booking” funny advert

This Is One ‘Booking’ Funny Ad Campaign.

Having used for our own great OS* adventure to SE Asia earlier this year,  we too can vouch for the “booking” good feeling when the room/apartment door is opened.  is a global accommodation booking web site that does a great job  presenting properties.

The tariffs are usually pretty good value, the terms of payment are flexible, and the only guest feedback comments are ones made AFTER the guest has stayed, paid and checked out.
(You get a reminder email directly from about 24 hours later, asking if you’d like to provide feedback.)

So this Ad campaign made for the US market, to raise their profile, really hits the spot.

* OS = Over Seas : colloquial NZ.