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Gold Coast's new destination brand plays up its personality, local draws
Karen Yue, reporting from AIME 2017, Melbourne, February 21, 2017

The Gold Coast’s unique character and experiences have taken centre stage in its newest destination brand platform, We Are Destination Gold Coast, which was launched nationwide on Sunday and will hit international markets in March.


The multimillion dollar campaign was “years in the making”, shared Jan Hutton, chief marketing officer of Gold Coast Tourism.


Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast


“Through two years of research and consultation, we’ve discovered that what distinguishes the Gold Coast in an ever-increasing world of choice for travellers is not our beaches or theme parks; instead, it’s the unmistakable life affirming energy that lives there. It is an energy that ignites, inspires, reconnects and makes you feel alive,” Hutton said.


“Many other destinations have spectacular (landscapes), retail and restaurants. There are more than 180 NTOs worldwide fighting for travellers’ attention. What we are is our foundation and that will allow us to stand out,” she added.


When asked how the new branding relates to business events, Hutton said: “People attending business events, particularly meetings and incentives, look for iconic memories. Gone are the days when people look forward to standing beneath the Eiffel Tower. Now they want to have dinner in a local family’s dining room. The braggability when they travel has become much more localised. It is a big change in both leisure and business travel around in the world.”


Hutton was quick to reaffirm the importance of events infrastructure in the destination’s success, but added that competition based solely on hardware is not enough.


Since the new branding was created alongside business events stakeholders in the Gold Coast, Hutton believes that DMCs and other suppliers would be able to carry through the consistent message, and deliver a memorable experience unique to the Gold Coast, for event groups.


The new branding is also timely for a destination that is already familiar among the many corporate and association event attendees who have been there before.


“When you are able to show a deeper side of a destination, you can stimulate and encourage repeat visitation a lot easier. Ultimately, our job is to increase the revenue stream for the destination, stimulating the local visitor economy more by getting people to explore more parts of the Gold Coast (and more often),” she added.


In-market messages and activities attached to the new branding will have “hyper local relevance”, segmented by interest, not geographical region.


Execution includes engaging Gold Coast Tourism’s own digital and social channels to connect with people “in a way that is very relatable and relevant”. Visuals and language used will also be tailored to specific segments, according to Hutton.


“We are also identifying local influencers – bloggers covering travel, lifestyle, fashion, and business events, and Instagrammers, etc – and we will seed our content to them,” she concluded.

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