OZ topic - Tourism focus caught on the hop over kangaroos

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Tourism focus caught on the hop over kangaroos
Friday 10 March 2000

Australian tourism authorities have been criticised for failing to use the kangaroo as an effective tourism symbol, despite its being recognised by Americans second only to the Statue of Liberty.

The Americans had been asked to identify the home country of 20 world tourism icons.

France's Eiffel Tower came third, with another Australian marsupial, the koala, fourth, and Canada's moose fifth.

While the kangaroo had the hop on most of the world's tourism icons in the survey, however, a Griffith University researcher, Dr Karen Higginbottom, said Australian tourism authorities have not used its fame effectively.

"Our research found that kangaroos are the icon that Americans most strongly associate with Australia, and can be useful in creating positive images of Australia as a tourism destination in advertising," Dr Higginbottom said.

"However, we found that kangaroo imagery is rarely used in travel brochures featuring Australia from the United States, as well as the United Kingdom."

Dr Higginbottom said Australian tourism authorities used other images to attract the 400,000 Americans who came to Australia last year. These included the koala and the Sydney Opera House (ranked 11th), the platypus (14th) and Uluru (19th).

The study, by the Cooperative Research Centre for Sustainable Tourism, on the Gold Coast, also found mentioning kangaroos in an American advertisement led to a higher safety perception of Australia. The marsupial also prompted a perception of greater novelty in a trip to Australia and greater sightseeing opportunities.

Dr Higginbottom, who was coordinating the centre's wildlife tourism research program, said it was important visitors were given a "natural experience" with wild kangaroos.

The Tourism Council Australia managing director, Mr Phil Young, rejected as simplistic claims that Australia is not using the kangaroo enough in promotions. AAP


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Regards from Down Under

-- Pieter (zaadz@icisp.net.au), March 09, 2000


Uh....what's an Uluru? (eh, I'm from Moose land, you know)

I'd vote for that 'roo centerfold on every Australian brochure. Maybe even a Crocodile Dundee hat could be expertly added on its head. Yeah, that'd be kewl, eh.

I have a cousin who maried an Aussie. I think she might be the only Canadian in OZ. We haven't seen her in 25 years. It's a long way across the earth, eh. 400,000 Yanks, that's already too much isn't it?

-- Chris (!@#$@pond.com), March 09, 2000.

An Uluru is a big rock. In fact there's only one Uluru, it used to be known as Ayer's Rock but is now known by its original Aboriginal name, a reasonable thing since their name is about 15000 years older than ours.


-- Ron Davis (rdavis@ozemail.com.au), March 09, 2000.

Hello Chris,
Uluru is the aboriginal name for Ayers Rock, a major tourist destination right in the desert heart of Australia SW of Alice Springs.

Plenty of Canadians here. The local canola oil cropping scene is mostly run by them. They talk a bit like Yanks, but we're training 'em up to sound funny whenever they return back to where they originally came from.

Too many Yanks spoil the broth. There's more coming with this Olympics caper. Sheesh!!! Our cricket season was frequently interrupted by the Kentucky colonel selling fried chicken in his 13 spices. Blegh!!!


-- Pieter (zaadz@icisp.net.au), March 09, 2000.

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