Australians are being encouraged to give ‘The Gift of Travel’ this holiday season and support the tourism industry which has been doing it tough throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
The campaign, which is the next phase of Tourism Australia’s push for people to ‘Holiday Here This Year’, features ambassadors Hamish Blake and Zoe Foster-Blake as they plan the perfect meaningful gift for their close friend and media personality Andy Lee.
The TV commercial sees the Aussie power couple seek inspiration from the outback wrangler Matt Wright, rugby league great Johnathan Thurston, comedian Hannah Gadsby, actor Hugh Sheridan and food icon Elli Beer before landing on an unforgettable experience for Lee.
Tourism Australia’s multi-channel campaign also includes cinema, print and online elements, and was supported by agency partners M&C Saatchi Sydney (creative), UM (media), Digitas (digital), Ogilvy PR (public relations) and Finch (production).
Tourism Australia managing director Phillipa Harrison said the campaign, which has been launched today, is sure to get people excited and thinking about visiting new places, trying new things and visiting friends and family.
“The pandemic has left people wanting to make up for lost time, and giving a travel experience will help people do just that,” she said.
“The Gift of Travel is about encouraging Australians to give more meaningful gifts this holiday season and, in doing, so give back to tourism operators and communities who have been among the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“Last year, Australians spent, on average, $770 on gifts during the holiday season equating to $16 billion in total. If we can encourage people to spend just a fraction of that on travel instead, it would be a multi-billion-dollar boost for the tourism industry.
“Whilst the uncertainty around state borders can make booking challenging, the wonderful thing about giving a travel or experience voucher is that they will be there ready for use when restrictions allow and people are ready to go.”
Tourism Australia chief marketing officer Susan Coghill said December and January are traditionally the largest travelling months, and this summer will be combined with strong pent-up demand for travel.
“The latest travel sentiment data shows the majority of Australians are either thinking or dreaming about their next holiday, and now is the time to convert that into gift vouchers and actual holiday bookings,” she said.
“There is a travel gift for everyone at every price point, so for a last-minute gift that will last a lifetime, get inspired at Australia.com.”
Mandie van der Merwe, executive creative director at M&C Saatchi Sydney, said: “Australia is the greatest gift shop in the world. It’s full of the most incredible experiences with which to treat someone you really care about.
“Not to mention, by giving a holiday here this year, you’re helping the tourism industry recover. It’s like a double present – someone gets a gift they’ll never forget and the industry gets the support they need.”
Lisa Hosking, global client partner at UM Australia, said: “This campaign is vital in helping rebuild confidence and stimulate demand for the Australian tourism industry.
“We have worked with a broad selection of media partners to ensure that the campaign will reach, influence and inspire Australians across all territories and states.”
Simon Brock, executive creative director at Digitas, said: “Experiences make the most memorable gifts, and Australia offers experiences like nowhere else.
“It’s been exciting to collate some of the most unforgettable experiences the country has to offer, and creating a Gift Finder on Australia.com to help Aussies find and give amazing gifts to their loved ones this holiday season.”
Richard Brett, CEO of Ogilvy PR said: “We love how The Gift of Travel campaign aims to bring people together to create memories, all while helping the tourism industry recover.
“The campaign captures the joy in experiencing something new, and we’re excited to partner with Tourism Australia to highlight the incredible destinations and experiences from Australia’s gift shop.”