Destinations

Tourism Australia recruits Hamish Blake and wife Zoe to help boost domestic tourism

Two of Australia’s most iconic homegrown personalities, Hamish Blake and Zoe Foster-Blake, are helping to inspire travellers to book their next domestic holiday as part of Tourism Australia’s latest marketing push.

The next iteration of Tourism Australia’s ‘Holiday Here This Year’ campaign, which was first launched in January, aims to get Australians travelling safely across the country to provide a much-needed boost to tourism businesses and operators.

The campaign will be rolled out across a range of channels including print, social media, search, radio and outdoor advertising.

One of the out-of-home advertisements for Tourism Australia’s new campaign

You can check out the launch video below:

It will be supported by a domestic media hosting program, campaign content across Tourism Australia’s social media and digital channels, and amplified through industry and content partnerships.

Activity will be executed in phases across the states to reflect local travel restrictions.

The campaign follows the launch of a teaser video voiced by Blake across Tourism Australia’s social and digital channels on Friday, which takes viewers on a journey across some of Australia’s most breathtaking landscapes and reminds them of the country’s unique aspects.

Tourism Australia is also continuing to provide consumers with the practical resources and inspiration they need to book a holiday and travel safely around Australia, with tailored content, itineraries, and industry offers via Australia.com.

This includes a new online COVID-safe travel portal that brings together key safety information, travel restrictions and guidelines from across the country.

Tourism Australia managing director Phillipa Harrison said that with domestic restrictions lifting and consumer confidence improving, now was the perfect time to inspire those Australians who are able to, to plan and book their next holiday.

“Our Holiday Here This Year campaign is all about galvanizing Australians to support their fellow Australians by booking a holiday wherever they can around the country,” she said.

“With the peak summer travel period just around the corner, it is crucial that we continue to remind people of all the incredible destinations and tourism experiences that are right on their doorstep waiting to be explored.

“This will be just the first of a series of initiatives that we will be implementing over the coming months to continue to drive as much domestic demand as possible, particularly to those regions and operators that are typically popular with international visitors.

“Our goal is to try and get Australians travelling differently by using the Holiday Here This Year campaign platform to urge them to start ticking off their holiday bucket list or heading interstate for a trip of a lifetime, and in turn provide a much-needed boost especially to those areas most affected by the bushfires and COVID-19.

“We’re also excited to be welcoming Hamish and Zoe to our ‘Friends of Australia’ program to help us tell our story by sharing their love of travel and providing plenty of holiday inspiration to Australians of all ages.”

Federal Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham said this campaign was about getting more Australians on planes and spending in our cities or tourism regions.

“Tourism employs one in 13 Australians and is the backbone of so many businesses across Australia, but the industry has been hard hit by the COVID-19 crisis,” Minister Birmingham said.

“With interstate travel now possible to many parts of Australia, there isn’t a better opportunity than right now for Aussies to book a plane ticket, head to an interstate destination and help save a tourism business or the job of a fellow Australian.

“We are urging Australians to support our airlines and airports, tour operators, hire car companies and accommodation providers, while also giving people the chance to enjoy some of the incredible experiences our country has to offer.

“With our international borders expected to remain closed for the foreseeable future and the summer holidays only a couple of months away, this is a shout out to all Australians who are in a position to do so, to try something new and consider booking a holiday to a destination within Australia they have never been to before.

“Whether it be a surf lesson in Byron Bay, a wine tasting experience in the Adelaide Hills, a boat trip out to the Great Barrier Reef or a guided walking tour in the Top End, Australia has so many unique and wonderful tourism experiences.”

Blake and Foster-Blake said that they were excited to help the country bounce back after a tough year by inspiring Aussies to get travelling.

“It does feel special to be able to help promote our country because we love travelling, we love adventure, and we love Australia. So, we can’t really think of anything that’s a better fit,” they said in a joint statement.

“We know everybody feels like a holiday right now, so it’s not exactly a tough sell, but hopefully we can help to convince those people who were putting one off or had planned something overseas, to book a holiday here.

“Not only will they create incredible memories, they’ll be helping the tourism sector right across the country to bounce back.”

Tourism Accommodation Australia CEO Michael Johnson hopes the next iteration of the revived Holiday Here This Year campaign will quickly change the way Australians travel.

“Australians made about 11 million trips overseas last year and spent $65 billion – we need as much of this money to be spent on tourism at home to help our struggling sector,” he said.

“The campaign looks great and it encourages travellers to not just take a holiday, but to book an experience which will help revenue flow through to our airlines and airports, tour operators, hire car companies and, of course, accommodation providers.”

With Tourism Australia pledging $7 million of its $231 million Federal Budget funding into the campaign, Johnson hopes it will be the first of many such initiatives.

“With no international travel, and some state border closures a reality for the foreseeable future, it’s going to be a long road back to recovery and we are going to need on-going help,” he said.

“CBD hotels in many parts of the country are operating more than 70 per cent down in room revenue compared to this time last year, and iconic international destinations like Uluru, Gold Coast and Cairns are well below capacity.”

Johnson said voucher programs, which offer subsidised vouchers for accommodation and tourism experiences, were also great examples of how state governments can support the Holiday Here This Year campaign and help stimulate intrastate tourism.

“Hospitality voucher programs like those introduced in Tasmania and the Northern Territory are a great way to boost intra-state tourism. They are good for accommodation hotels, tourism operators and the wider hospitality and visitor economy,” he said.

“Other state governments should look to follow suit.”

Tourism & Transport Forum CEO Margy Osmond said it was incredibly important for Australia to get those dollars which would have previously gone overseas circulating in the local tourism economy.

“As we get closer to the summer travel period and the festive season, TTF joins with Hamish and Zoe and Tourism Australia in encouraging Australians to plan and book trips including longer interstate trips where borders allow, and to get out and enjoy this amazing country of ours,” she said.

“Whether it is a tour within a world-class national or marine park, a flight to a new regional destination to sample the local produce or an interstate city visit to see a performance or art gallery or iconic attraction, now is the time for all of us to think outside the square and travel like we might if we were overseas.

“Perhaps a trip or tour before or after already-planned visits to friends and family, or with them, perhaps to an Australian destination that you had always planned on visiting but never quite got around to?

“The opportunities are there and the time is right to safely Holiday Here this Year.”

Tourism Australia managing director Phillipa Harrison will be speaking at the travel industry’s most thought-provoking conference, Travel DAZE 2020, next month. To find out more or to register, click here.

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