Hotels can prepare for higher occupancies on the back of government support to send tourists their way.
Hotels can prepare for higher occupancies thanks to government support to send tourists their way.

A partnership between the Regional Strategic Alliance and the NSW Government has led to the launch of a new ‘Wake Up With’ campaign designed to funnel tourists to regional areas outside of Sydney and encourage them to turn a day trip into an overnight stay.

The initial launch, funded by the NSW Government’s Regional Tourism Fund, sees three campaigns – ‘Wake Up With Penrith’, ‘Wake Up With Blue Mountains’ and ‘Wake Up With Hawkesbury’ – each pushing a variety of local experiences visitors can enjoy. The campaign runs until early November and targets families and active singles in Greater Sydney. According to NSW Minister for Tourism & Major Events, Adam Marshall, around 75% of visitors to these regions only go for the day.

“We want to make sure those visitors extend their stay to an overnight trip, so that the local visitor economy thrives,” Minister Marshall said.

“The campaign will feature digital and social displays, a partnership program with and a TV broadcast with Sydney Weekender.”

The initiative has been praised by Tourism Accommodation Australia CEO Carol Giuseppi, who said the big winners in the initiative will be the Western Sydney tourism economy.

“This new campaign is the first of its kind to target these specific areas and will make the most of their iconic attractions, natural beauty and food, cultural and heritage experiences.

“The accommodation sector particularly welcomes the emphasis on digital media with the campaign being rolled out on Facebook and Instagram,” Giuseppi added.

The Hunter Valley region, three hours north of Sydney, also stands to benefit from a campaign launched last week to encourage holidaymakers to make a mid-week visit to the region. These and similar campaigns appear to be paying dividends, with the past year seeing an 11.8% increase in domestic visitor nights and a massive 33.6% jump in accommodation nights spent in regional NSW.