TOURISM Australia launched its latest global marketing campaign in Shanghai yesterday, a $250 million updated version of ''There's nothing like Australia'' that was first rolled out to the world in 2010.
Under grey and smoggy skies in China's second-biggest city, which represents one of the biggest markets of future tourists to Australia, the Tourism Minister, Martin Ferguson, the chairman of Tourism Australia, Geoff Dixon, and the managing director, Andrew McEvoy, revealed the campaign to a packed gathering of Chinese media.
The new broadcast, print and online advertising depicts wide-open spaces and blue skies at popular Australian attractions.
Featured destinations include the Bungle Bungles, Uluru, the Great Barrier Reef, the Freycinet Peninsula and Kangaroo Island, where a young girl pats a kangaroo on the beach. Many of these scenes are filmed from the air and accompanied by a moving soundtrack by indigenous singer Dewayne Everettsmith.
Unlike previous campaigns with Paul Hogan encouraging Americans to come over and throw a shrimp on the barbie or bikini-clad Lara Bingle asking ''where the bloody hell are you?'', there is not a celebrity in sight.
''This campaign allows Australia to speak for itself,'' Mr McEvoy said. ''I think many times over the years we have tried to be almost too clever. We are just trying to show Australia the way it is. We need to let Australia breathe and tell its own story.''
The campaign, with a strong focus on social media and digital channels, will be seen in 18 markets. It will be heavily promoted in Asia, particularly China. It will also be seen in Britain, Europe, the US and Australia.
China is Australia's highest-value and fastest-growing tourism market. Last year 540,000 Chinese visited, spending $3.8 billion, or about $7000 a head. Arrivals increased by 19.4 per cent in 2011.
''We all appreciate that Australia is a major trading partner with China and tourism is central to that relationship,'' Mr McEvoy said.
The campaign includes an interactive tablet application. The app, suitable for iPad or Android and in the style of a coffee-table book, showcases 14 destinations featured in the new advertising and allows users to delve into more detail on the places that interest them.