The campaign poster for Tourism Australia's 'Holiday Here This Year'.
The campaign poster for Tourism Australia’s ‘Holiday Here This Year’.

A new campaign promoting domestic tourism in the wake of the Australian bushfires has been launched by Tourism Australia as part of the Federal Government’s $76 million rescue package announced last weekend.

The new ‘Holiday Here This Year’ push comes both in response to the bushfires and Tourism Australia’s amended focus which sees the organisation now promoting the nation’s tourism offerings to both domestic and international markets. From the rescue package, $20 million has been allocated to produce supporting material to try and kickstart tourism in fire-affected areas back into action.

All states and territories have pledged to support the campaign, with South Australia launching its own sub-campaign entitled ‘Book Them Out’, referring to its regional hotels, motels and caravan parks, which has resonated widely on social media.

Tourism Australia Managing Director, Phillipa Harrison, says ‘Holiday Here This Year’ is a practical way for Australians to help by filling various accommodation options across the country.

“That is why we are asking people to commit to holidaying in their own backyard this year – whether it’s a drive up the coast, taking a trip interstate, or ticking off a bucket list destination – and to spread the word that Australia is ready to welcome more travellers.

“The launch of the campaign is the first of a package of measures that we’ll be rolling out over the coming weeks and months to help Australian tourism rebuild and recover.”

Along with campaign material including videos, images and media coverage, the hashtag #holidayherethisyear has been created as a central tracking metric for social media promotion. Further backing will include radio, print and outdoor advertising and content partnerships.

The accommodation industry was quick to endorse the new campaign, with Tourism Accommodation Australia CEO, Michael Johnson, saying the campaign would have the support of the entire travel sector.

“Having recently visited fire-affected tourism areas in the Blue Mountains and Hunter Valley, I realise first-hand how badly this campaign is needed. The message is simple – holiday in your own back yard this year and help support regions that need it most.”

Accommodation Association of Australia CEO, Dean Long, said he believed campaigns such as this would spur Aussies into action.

“The Accommodation Association has been active in engaging with Government to respond quickly to ensure we limit the impact of cancellations and brand damage to Australia’s tourism sector. To date, our members have advised of losses of more than $550 million in direct cancellations since late December and this campaign is a critical first step.”

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