AUSTRALIA'S tourism marketing is not on the right track, one of the world's most successful tour entrepreneurs has told an international conference in Queensland.
Bruce Poon Tip, who began Gap Adventures with nothing but a credit card and some space in his garage in Canada, believes the campaigns by Tourism Australia (TA) have lacked identity since the "golden age'' of Paul Hogan throwing a shrimp on the barbie.
Mr Tip, Wednesday's keynote speaker at the Global Eco Asia-Pacific Tourism Conference at Noosa, said TA's new campaign, There's Nothing Like Australia, is not much better than the disastrous Where The Bloody Hell Are You effort.
"Paul Hogan was such an everyman to everybody and I know you guys don't really put shrimps on barbies, but when you look past that he gave Australia an identity, and I just think there's been an identity crisis ever since,'' he since.
Poster from past Australian tourism campaign featuring actor PaulHogan and 'put another shrimp on the
"I just thought the new campaign was very insular and very patriotic.
"It was shot beautifully and I was amazed at how beautiful it looked, but as an outsider I didn't find it very compelling.
"If you're going for domestic tourism amongst Australians I think it was one of the best I've ever seen, but in terms of what international tourists are looking for in a campaign I don't know if that would make me want to come to Australia.
"It was a real flag-waving patriotic look at the beautiful people of Australia and how they view their country, and I don't know if that's going to attract international tourists.''
Mr Tip told the conference Australia had many problems in the field of tourism, but most of them were "good'' problems.
"You have so many assets - Australia has such diverse terrain and ecosystems on different coasts, it has beaches, different forests, skiing, and it has food and wine,'' he said.
"It's a very good problem for the tourist board to have when they're trying to find an identity for the tourism market.''