SPECIAL REPORT: AUSTRALIAN TOURISM EXCHANGE (ATE)
MELBOURNE - The Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE) has kicked off a critical year for the country's tourism industry.
A new Brand Australia campaign and a revamped tourism body are key elements of a bid to lift the number of visitors to the country by up to 20 percent.
The Australian Tourist Commission's Brand Australia campaign is being rolled out around the world in an attempt to redefine the appeal of the country to both domestic and international visitors.
Ken Boundy, managing director of the Australian Tourist Commission, said he hoped the television and print advertisements being used to promote Australia overseas would change the way people felt about Australia.
"Perhaps we can create a picture of Australia that can be represented in a way to the world that builds the value of our brand, earns us greater income from world markets and ultimately improves the way people think about us."
The TV commercials use poets, painters and others to focus on aspects of Australia such as its natural light, colours of the earth and freedom of the individual.
"We want people to come here to immerse themselves in the Australian way of life," said Boundy.
The ATC managing director hopes to take charge of Tourism Australia, the new body that will oversee both domestic and international tourism.
Tourism Australia will be established on July 1, after which a new board will choose the man or woman to run the organisation.
"I'm very excited by the potential to integrate international and domestic tourism," said Boundy.