Travel Trends: Australia Goes Viral

Australia Has Job Openings - Okay, so you and the team at the CVB, cruise line, airport, whatever, have been talking about how to create a ‘viral’ campaign because, you know, they are awesome, everyone is doing it and it is ‘free’ media.

While you were sitting around your conference room table racking your brain to come up with an idea that both your grandmother and nephew would think is ‘cool,’ Tourism Queensland developed a solid idea based upon their strengths and is currently dominating the tourism news space.

For those of you who have not seen the article, a sample:

Tourism officials in Australia are describing it as “the best job in the world”.

They want someone to work on a tropical island off the Queensland coast.

No formal qualifications are needed but candidates must be willing to swim, snorkel, dive and sail.

In return, the successful applicant will receive a salary of A$150,000 ($103,000, £70,000) for six months and get to live rent-free in a three-bedroom villa, complete with pool.

Yeah, it is just a contest, but with a brilliant PR component that is beginning to spread at a rapid pace.  Today, the article was the ‘Featured’ story on Yahoo!.  Yeah, Yahoo!. On the homepage, see below.

Ya freakin' hoooo!

Ya freakin' hoooo!

That earned media is already enough to call the campaign a success and the contest has not even started!  Honestly, the Yahoo! homepage, start opening the champagne.

Better yet, Tourism Queensland decided that simply having a guy or girl live on the island was not enough:

They will also need to prepare a blog, a photo diary and video updates to attract tourists to the area.

Genius!  Well, an obvious move I suppose, but kudos for actually putting it into motion.

Here is the secret to the whole campaign: Tourism Queensland knew what their product inventory was (beautiful beaches and islands), created a contest/campaign/sweeps that would garner general, worldwide interest (Americans are fascinated with Australia, see example.) at the perfect moment (bad economy = job awareness) and launched the campaign utilizing smart PR tactics.

Will this model work for everyone, like the Hilton by the airport?  No, it won’t.  But for those of us with the right ingredients, a campaign such as this might just take off.

Now, back to the conference room.

Comment? @travel2dot0 or email.