WHY GERMAN TOURISTS LOVE OUR REGION,
WE have everything the nature loving Germans want, especially in the Daintree, but attracting this important market is a full on job that has to be sustained.
The Germans are the fourth largest visitor cohort to Douglas and the fifth for Tropical North Queensland. And it’s a growing market. Their share grew by 13.6 per cent to March 1 last year, totalling 56,000 visitors with 443,000 visitor nights.
“The German market is after authentic, nature-based experiences and we have that in spades,” said the executive officer of Tourism Port Douglas and Daintree, Tara Bennett.
Germans like to get off the beaten track.
“So they are a great market for regional dispersal. You’ll find Germans out exploring.
“They do like to get back to basics as well. They like to camp or be staying at accommodations that might be a little more unique, where they can connect with owners as well as other travellers.
“They tend to want to do a lot with their time – they’re here for experiences rather than fly and flop,” Ms Bennett said.
They’re a very traditional travel market, seeking out a lot of information before and after they book. Most of the time they book through travel agents, but some are turning to online options.
“We have to work very hard in that space and we travelled to Germany twice in the past two years, which is a big investment for TPDD,” Ms Bennett said.
“It’s really important to keep working on your relationships in the travel space there. Because they are such explorers you are competing against the rest of Australia. They are just as likely to have a vehicle and drive down from Port Douglas to Sydney or Brisbane, so we need to be very strong in that space to make sure they’re spending a good amount of time in the Douglas region.’
Andreas Macherey, based in Trier, Germany, is a travel agent with Australia as one of his special areas of expertise. He’s been out here 74 times.
“As an international visitor you want to get the real experience of the region and the people,” Mr Macherey said.
“That means most of our visitors book a trip to the Reef, stay few nights in a rainforest resort or get the feeling of a beach town like Port Douglas. Very often it is a combination but most of the time it is the beach and the Reef.”
Is it hard to sell Far North Qld to the German market?
“I love the region very much and in general it is not hard to sell the region because the people are fantastic, there are great products as well .... the only gap is the marketing.
“A few years ago we were running a lot of great campaigns in the German speaking market with FNQ Tourism and TQ but this is more or less not existing any more.
“That makes our lives a bit hard specially in comparison with other destinations like South Africa, Asia and South Pacific islands.”
What to we need to do to improve our appeal to German visitors to our region?
“Invest in more marketing but not only tactical campaigns. We need to get closer to the clients and have clear ‘Calls to Action’ involved,” Mr Macherey said.
Can we grow the German market?
“Yes 100 per cent. With the right strategy we would be able to win much more clients for this fantastic region.”
German travel agent Andreas Macherey