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Consumers Seek Inspiration & Credible Reviews When Purchasing A Holiday

Almost half of all holiday bookings are directly influenced by news media, a new report released by NewsMediaWorks has revealed.

Some 60% of holidaymakers recall seeing or hearing a specific travel ad in the early stages of buying their holiday, according to the Path to Purchase: Travel Report.  Yet, only 38% of holidaymakers have a specific destination in mind when they begin planning a holiday, which means that 3 in 5 consumers are open to persuasion.

travelgraph2

To understand how to engage holidaymakers on their path to purchase, NewsMediaWorks collaborated with Research Now to develop one of Australia’s largest path to purchase projects. NewsMediaWorks is a not for profit industry body established to advocate the cultural influence and commercial value of print and digital news media in Australia. It was founded in 2006 by Fairfax Media, News Corp Australia, APN News & Media and Seven West Media (West Australian Newspapers).

Unlike similar studies, which retrospectively look at consumer behaviour, this study gathered information from buyers in real time at four distinct stages of their purchase journey: 1. recognising that they need a holiday; 2. researching options; 3. forming a shortlist and 4. booking a holiday.

Price is the most important factor in the ‘researching options’ phase of the path to purchase journey at 59%, followed by inspiration (55%), inclusions (47%), where to book and recommendations  (31% each) and reviews (26%). Holidaymakers turn to news media as a ‘one-stop shop’ for these six key pieces of information they require when booking a holiday. These information needs remain throughout the path to purchase, but their weighting changes at each stage. When booking a holiday, for example, reviews and recommendations become increasingly important.

Throughout the holidaymakers’ path to purchase – which on average spans 22 weeks – news media consistently outperforms other paid media, when it comes to looking for information and reading reviews and recommendations of destinations.

“At the critical booking phase, people want reassurance that they are buying the right holiday. This is where news media is particularly strong – its travel content, independent advice, reviews and recommendations and quality journalism are more sought after by holidaymakers than any other paid channel. News media delivers at every stage of the path to purchase and enables travel destinations and airlines to connect with buyers when they are actively seeking information and making purchase decisions.” NewsMediaWorks CEO Mark Hollands said.

Noosa Long Weekend Festival gears up

The countdown is on to the 14th annual Noosa Long Weekend Festival. The 9000 tickets are selling fast to the 75 live music, dance, theatre, supper clubs, cabaret, literature, food and visual art events being held between 14-26 July 2015.

Festival director Ian Mackellar said the response to this year’s line-up had been overwhelmingly positive, with a number of events having sold out weeks in advance.  There are 260+ nationally and internationally acclaimed actors, writers, artists, musicians, performers, film makers, environmentalists and commentators heading to the event.

An Evening with the Queensland Ballet led by artistic director Li Cunxin (author of autobiography Mao’s Last Dancer) has been so popular that we have scheduled another performance, Dusty Live in Concert starring Monique Montez has sold out, as has a number of food related events and the premier seating for the Opera Australia production The Magic Flute,” Mr Mackellar said.

“Last year’s festival was undoubtedly a hard act to follow with more than 10,000 visitors to 35 venues and locations, but we’ve worked hard to lift the bar even higher in 2015 and are thrilled to have Opera Australia perform a fully staged production of its acclaimed opera The Magic Flute — the last opera ever written by Mozart — to the Sunshine Coast for the first time,” Mr Mackellar said.

“The cast and orchestra will open the festival on Tuesday, 14 July, and will set the stage alive with an Egyptian-themed set and costumes straight from the 1930s.”

Noosa Long Weekend

Catherine Alcorn credit Alex Makeyev (supplied)

Mr Mackellar said other festival highlights over the 13 days, included an exclusive performance by internationally acclaimed concert pianist and Steinway artist Julian Gargiulo, direct from New York’s Carnegie Hall and David Williamson’s brand new comedy, Dream Home, boasting an all-star cast from Sydney and Queensland based on the true cost of buying property in Sydney.

Mr Mackellar said the 2015 Noosa Long Weekend Festival features more than 75 events at various locations around Noosa including literature events, forums, live music, theatre performances, interactive art, films, cabaret and supper clubs.

To find out more about the 2015 Noosa Long Weekend Festival or purchase tickets, please visit www.noosalongweekend.com, call The J booking office on (07) 5329 6560 or visit The J at 60 Noosa Drive, Noosa Junction.

Special festival accommodation packages can be found on the website or at www.visitnoosa.com.au.

Princess Tops Up Australian Wines

In line with its new destination offerings and the changing guest palettes, Princess Cruises has refreshed its onboard cellars with a range of new Australian wines on its local ships. Princess Cruises

From Coal River in Tasmania to Margaret River in Western Australia, the wine list on the cruise line’s three local ships – Sun Princess, Dawn Princess and Sea Princess – is being decanted and refilled with 30 new drops, all but three from Australian vineyards. Australian wines, including the line’s first verdelho from Hope Estate in the Hunter Valley as well as a top shelf d’Arenberg Cabernet Sauvignon from McLaren Vale, now represent 75 per cent of the local wine list.

dArenberg Coppermine Road

dArenberg Coppermine Road

Princess Cruises Vice President Australia & New Zealand Stuart Allison said the cruise line regularly updated its wine lists to fit in with new trends and guest demand, ensuring there was a wine to suit every taste, occasion and budget.

“Australians have a refined palette when it comes to wine so our onboard offering needs to be up to date with trends on shore. As part of this latest wine revitalisation, we’ve introduced more local drops and more sought-after varietals such as Verdelho, Chardonnay and Semillon,” Mr Allison said.