Perspectives - Bev Bury at the SA Tourism Commission - Staying relevant

By AdNews | 17 December 2021
Bev Bury.

AdNews is following the WFH Diaries with a series of Perspectives, asking two questions: What did you learn in 2021 and what are you looking forward to in 2022? We've also encouraged the industry to glam, dress for the best, and face next year with optimism. 

Bev Bury, Senior Manager, Domestic Marketing, South Australian Tourism Commission

Staying relevant in a world where travel isn't possible is challenging. 

2021 has been another extraordinary year and the travel landscape has seen even more unexpected twists and turns.  Planning a holiday used to be an exciting process that was full of optimism and a sense of freedom and, whilst the excitement and joy will return, right now it’s complex.  As we continue to navigate our way through the year, nailing the ‘right message, right person, right time’ philosophy is certainly challenging. 

The tourism industry has continued to be in a state of flux throughout 2021.  As borders opened and closed our messaging changed and our media channels were updated.  We learnt that sensitivity and timeliness were critical as people across the country were affected greatly by the inability to travel.  We very quickly became even more obsessed by the latest research and insights to ensure the consumer, and consumer sentiment, was central to our marketing approach.

We have learnt that agility and flexibility is hard but necessary and will continue to be as we move forward into 2022.  The annual marketing plan has become obsolete as we continuously review and adapt our plans according to industry needs and changes in consumer behaviour. 

We have learnt that to get the best out of our agency partners, we must operate as one team and remove any walls that were remaining.  As a result, our agencies have been able to submerse themselves into our organisation which has enabled them to fully understand the challenges we have faced as a tourism industry and work with us to deliver marketing activity that has delivered results for our industry. 

And finally, I have learnt that managing constant change and galvanising a team is much easier when you have a clearly articulated purpose and values that everyone can relate to.  The team and I have leaned heavily on our shared purpose and values, using it to move us forward and guide our decision making.

So, as we look towards 2022 and a new era of travel, we are excited to welcome visitors back to South Australia.  The pandemic has redefined how and where people travel, and South Australia is in a unique position to capitalise on this.  Consumers are looking for new and exciting destinations that offer authentic and meaningful travel and I’m looking forward to delivering more bold and innovative campaigns that deliver growth for our industry.

I’m also looking forward to tackling some of the bigger issues like sustainability and diversity and inclusion in advertising.  How do we continue to grow our industry but in a sustainable way and in a way that is representative of our society?

It would be easy to go back to our pre COVID ways but that would be a waste.  2021 has made us an adept and resilient marketing team that has built stronger relationships with each other, our agencies, our industry, and consumers.  2022 provides us with an opportunity to use this to our industry’s advantage and start to rebuild the visitor economy.  

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