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Travel experiences are intangible, can only be produced and consumed simultaneously and most importantly they require the physical presence of the tourist at the destination. These are three pieces of wisdom about the tourism experience that Tourism Victoria – the body behind the widely acclaimed “jigsaw” campaign – aims to challenge. Thus Tourism Victoria October launched on Wednesday 9th a AUS$ 3.6 million ''virtual tourist experience'' as part of its ''Play Melbourne'' campaign.

HOW DID IT WORK

In the “Melbourne Remote Control Tourist” campaign, which was run between 9th and 13th of October four of the so called remote controlled tourist – two men and two women with helmets fitted with video cameras and microphones – could be controlled by Visit Melbourne fans from all around the world via their social media channels. They were able to send the remote controlled tourists to explore the destination, fulfil specific tasks and thereby provide the spectators an opportunity to experience Melbourne before they even visited. Video footage was streamed live to computers, tablets and mobile phones all around the world. In total 8726 requests were made by social media aficionados and the 4 remote controlled tourists travelled a distance of over 109 kilometres, gave out 203 high-fives and checked-in to 321 different places all around town.

“We were trying to create a way for people to explore Melbourne, find out what’s going on in Melbourne and than make the choice to come afterwards. We think that this hasn’t been done anywhere else in the world before”, says Leigh Harry, CEO of Tourism Victoria. The campaign reflects the transformative change of co-creation, which will define the dynamics and lifestyle of the next generation of travellers; who increasingly expect to be recognised as active partners of a firm, rather than just passive recipients of value.

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