Comment: Why Australia isn’t just for a bucket list

Comment: Why Australia isn’t just for a bucket list

Once a customer realises Australia doesn’t have to be a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ destination, there’s a wealth of options to secure multiple bookings, says AAT Kings senior sales manager Heather Colbourn

At a recent event with one of our trade partners, I came across a couple who had just come back from Australia and were already planning their return visit. They had unlocked the misconception of Australia – commonly held by the uninitiated – that it’s a bucket list destination, only viable for that ‘once in a lifetime’ trip.

My view has always been that the key for long-term success in selling Australia is to target the first-time visitor, because once they have been, they will always want to come back for more. Recent data from Tourism Australia supports this, with 50% of all UK holidaymakers into Australia being repeat visitors (as at March 2017).

It’s not hard to see why. For a start, it is a large country (compared to the US, travelling from Perth to Sydney would be about the same time as travelling from Los Angeles to New York) and it is also hugely diverse. A trip to Australia is obviously no small investment, both in terms of time and money, so whether it’s their first or fifth time, it’s important that clients know they are travelling with an expert, to ensure they get the most from their trip.

AAT Kings has a huge variety of touring that will cover every corner and crevasse in Australia, from the tropical rainforest of Queensland to the desert plains of the Red Centre. With beaches, a warm climate, vibrant cities and natural wonders aplenty, a second or third holiday Down Under will never be the same as holiday number one.

I often recommend Tasmania to the repeat visitor as it is a great destination for customers looking for an entirely different Australian adventure. With an abundance of National Parks and unique wildlife, Tasmania is well suited to a guided holiday and with the short driving distances, we can cover a whole host of enriching experiences in a relatively compact area.

A visit to World Heritage-listed Port Arthur offers insight into the island’s history as a convict sight in Victorian times and Cradle Mountain is not to be missed, venturing through an ancient rainforest with unsurpassed views. Tasmania is also blessed with excellent wines and seafood so if you have clients that like history, walking and great food then Tasmania will hit the spot.

AAT Kings’ commitment to the region is a continued effort, and we have joined forces with The Save the Tasmania Devil Appeal to protect Tasmania’s precious Tasmanian Devils from the fatal Devil Facial Tumour Disease. And as part of a wider global family of brands at The Travel Corporation (TTC), we are committed to the sustainable development of tourism via our not-for-profit Treadright Foundation.

For the discerning traveller looking for ‘adventure in style’, a great option is a visit to the Top End with Inspiring Journeys, a small group experience staying in boutique properties. When I travelled to the Top End for the first time in 2015, I wondered why I had never been before. It was amazing to discover waterfalls, termite mounds four times my height and salt water crocodiles in the wild. Beyond Darwin to the North lie the Tiwi Islands, lovingly named the ‘Island of Smiles’ and offering a cultural experience learning about depictions of Tiwi ‘dreamtime’ stories.

So the next time you have a guest travelling to Australia, ask them what they want to do on their trip this time around, and plant a seed for their next trip Down Under. You can be assured that AAT Kings will be continuing to offer more great products and incentives to help support you when you sell your next journey to Australia.

Find out more about AAT Kings here.

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