By 2020 there will be 100 million Chinese travelling the world - and Tourism Australia wants to ensure many of them will be coming here.
The tourism body today launched the next phase of its 'There's nothing like Australia' campaign in Shanghai.
The $250 million campaign includes new broadcast, print and digital advertising showing key attractions such as the Bungle Bungles, Lizard Island and Uluru and it has a strong focus on digital and social media.
The campaign will be seen in 18 of Tourism Australia's key markets, with a particular focus on China as well as India and Indonesia. It will also roll out in the UK, the US and Australia, among other countries.
The campaign was launched by Tourism Minister Martin Ferguson, the chairman of Tourism Australia and former Qantas boss Geoff Dixon, and managing director of Tourism Australia Andrew McEvoy to a packed press conference of Chinese media.
Mr McEvoy said that by 2020 there will be 100 million Chinese going overseas each year and that Australia needs to capitalise on the opportunity to win them over.
When 'There's nothing like Australia' was first launched in 2010, Tourism Australia planned make the campaign flexible and adaptable over time. "Now is the right time to evolve the campaign to remain competitive," Mr McEvoy said.
Apart from refreshed advertising to be shown at cinemas, TV, online and in print, the new campaign includes an interactive tablet application which Tourism Australia says is a world first.
The app, suitable for iPad or Android, showcases 14 destinations featured in the new advertising and allows users to delve into more detail on the places that interest them.
"The concept is to provide inspiration in the advertising and then information in the app and to hook people in and get them further down the track (to booking a trip)."
Mr McEvoy said the app reads like a book with users swiping pages, being able to access maps to pinpoint locations, access web sites and set up an electronic itinerary as well as share information on Facebook, Twitter and China's Twitter-like Weibo.
He said these social network sites are important for word of mouth recommendations.
"Word of mouth in our sector (tourism) has always been the biggest driver of people taking a trip. These vehicles (social network sites) put word of mouth on steroids."
The writer travelled to Shanghai as a guest of Tourism Australia.
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