Tourism Australia explores news-style content, virtual reality

Oculus Rift could be used to inspire people to come to real Australia, says Tourism Australia's CMO and CIO

The CIO and CMO of Tourism Australia have joined forces to develop innovative storytelling aimed at bringing more visitors to Australia.

Tourism Australia CMO, Nick Baker, and CIO, Dave Rumsey, have redesigned the Australia website to bring in news-style content and make greater use of social media, they said in a session at the Mumbrella360 conference in Sydney. In addition, the executives have played with Oculus Rift and are interested in how virtual reality (VR) technology might be used to share Australia’s highlights with the world.

Tourism Australia wants to be “the nation’s storyteller,” said Baker (right in picture).

“If we can make our story more compelling, if we can give [the media] more visuals to make it great, and if we can give them already well-written content that they can shape and form and understand a story … maybe they’ll write about it,” he said.

With the redesigned website, Tourism Australia “is truly redefining what the site is built to do,” he said. The site will have a newsroom-style structure with content being created, co-created, curated and eventually syndicated into this, and bringing social in.

Also, by collecting data on what specific topics people are engaging with, Tourism Australia will have the opportunity to create content catering to what’s trending, Baker said. In addition, it can share data with partners to produce special deals designed for readers, he said.

For example, if Tourism Australia produced content around an award-winning Tasmanian whisky distillery, it could work with an airline to develop special travel packages for people interested in whisky, he said.

Accomplishing all this has required IT and marketing to work closely, with the CIO heading up a reengineering of the entire website.

Related: Marketing and IT are becoming synonymous, says Suncorp CMO
Ensighten chief: CMO, CIO roles are converging but technology tastes remain distinct

The new is hosted in the cloud using Amazon Web Services, he said. Rumsey said he looked for a technology platform that would be easy for the marketing team to use and could be expanded to meet demand.

“The ability to respond quickly, to build quickly is really important,” he said.

Virtual reality could be a future tool for telling stories about Australia and attracting tourism, the two continued. Tourism Australia signed up for the Oculus Rift developer program and recently has tested two of the VR headsets, said Rumsey.

Baker said showing a virtual Australia to people far away might inspire them to visit the real Australia.

“My dream for that is that what they see ... inspires them so much and it becomes so compelling that they feel they need to go into the real world and not just the altered states,” he added. “If I can show people a little bit about Australia, if I can get them to feel this country and see the enormity of experiences and feel like they’re part of it, I think that will help get the message over.”

Adam Bender covers digital marketing and wearable computing for CMO and is the author of dystopian sci-fi novels We, The Watched and Divided We Fall. Follow him on Twitter: @WatchAdam

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO Australia conversation on LinkedIn: CMO Australia, or join us on Facebook:

Signup to CMO’s new email newsletter to receive your weekly dose of targeted content for the modern marketing chief.

Join the CMO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Supporting Association

Blog Posts

Un-complicating multi-channel marketing: 5 actionable steps

There’s so much choice available that customers can pick and choose who they buy from and where, when, and how it happens. They want to discover, research, evaluate, and purchase on their preferred channel. Give them that option, and they’re more likely to choose you. That’s the whole point behind the multi-channel approach.

Aaron Agius

Co-founder and managing director, Louder Online

People in vegan houses shouldn't throw bacon

Picture this. You’re at a Gourmerican burger joint chomping a cheeseburger, when an outspoken vegan friend starts preaching that you’re killing the planet. Last week, that same vegan downed a pricey glass of pinot before their flight to a far-flung destination, armed with their strongest mossie repellant and first aid kit. Anything amiss?

Abbie Love

Strategist, Ikon Communications

The role of the CMO is evolving: Are you keeping up?

My (amazing) vacation in the Galapagos Islands earlier in the year got me thinking about Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution. What does this have to do with the role of today’s CMO, you ask? Plenty.

Sheryl Pattek

Vice-president, executive partner

It’s excellent aiming to resurrect the complete within the hearts and minds of connected customers, moreover because the terribly relevan...

CMO Interview: How Kodak’s global CMO is bringing the brand back from the brink

Read more

Great to see ActiveCampaign's growth funded with some serious money.As a platform, it's up there with the usual suspects in terms of feat...

Lawrence Ladomery

CMO's top 10 martech stories for the week - 13 October

Read more


Kerry Edwards

Open Colleges taps into social for better student interaction

Read more

Or just go to sites like www.shopsthatshiptoaustralia.c... and others and be sure that the stores will send to where you live :-)


Why online shopping is like dating – RedBalloon CEO

Read more

Personalisation is the key. Customers demand a very relatable and well defined CX where the sincerity and understanding of their disposit...

Hitesh Parekh

In pictures: Improving cutomer experiences through smart personalisation

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in