Home » Australia to pay more influencers to visit after TikTokers’ $90k trip

Australia to pay more influencers to visit after TikTokers’ $90k trip

Tourism Australia has explained why it is committed to continue working with influencers after facing scrutiny over its decision to pay three TikTok stars about $90,000 to visit the country last year.

Managing director Phillipa Harrison confirmed on Wednesday the lure of influencers would be a focal point for the federal government agency in 2024.

Speaking at the annual Destination Australia conference, she said there was always going to be good and bad influencers, but getting it right could give the country huge exposure.

Ms Harrison explained while she had never heard of him, their work with influencer Chris Olsen, who was one of the three big names who visited last year, was a great success.

The 26-year-old US-based creator has more than 12 million followers on TikTok alone.

Ms Harrison said their average views on TikTok were 240,000, but when Olsen’s content was featured they “got about 30 million views for those posts”.

“Then the views of the Australian content on his channel got 32 million views so that’s pretty impressive, isn’t it?

“It just shows if it’s the right message and the right influencer, with the right audiences, we can really benefit and get our story out in quite a cost effective way.

“And the reason that that’s important is because our phones are just an extension of our hands now.”

Ms Harrison said travellers were scrolling unknowingly getting inspiration for their next holiday.

“The lure of influencers continues to captivate travellers,” she said.

Ms Harrison said last year Tourism Australia’s international media hosting program secured a global Equivalent Advertising Value (EAV) of $192 million.

“That’s bigger than our budget so that’s why we think that it’s a pretty good area to focus on,” she said.

And it is not just journalists and content creators with the power to influence tourism.

Ms Harrison drew attention to the huge visitation during Taylor Swift’s concerts and the power of television and film settings to influence travel choices.

Olsen, and British TikTokers Maddie Grace Jepson and Francis Bourgeois, touched down in Sydney in early December for the TikTok Australia Awards (which isn’t affiliated with Tourism Australia) before staying on to holiday in New South Wales.

Tourism Australia said they covered the cost of each influencer’s flights, accommodation, and travel expenses, at a cost of about $30,000 each.