South Australia starts targeting interstate tourists again: ‘You have to see it to believe it’

South Australia is coaxing interstate tourists back across the border with a campaign focused on what visitors will be able to hear, touch and see once they arrive.

The push comes as some destination marketing bodies ramp up their efforts to attract tourists as some restrictions ease. At time of publication, visitors from the Northern Territory, Queensland, Tasmania and Western Australia can enter South Australia without any restrictions or quarantining required.

Those from New South Wales and the ACT will have to self-quarantine for 14 days and submit for COVID-19 testing on the day of arrival and day 12. Victorian residents, other than essential travellers, are currently not welcome in South Australia.

The campaign has a heavy focus on sound, and is devoid of non-diegetic sounds – that is a backing track, voice-over, sound effects, or any noises external to the immediate visual narrative.

The launch of ‘You have to see it to believe it’ was accompanied by an intrastate campaign, continuing to encourage South Australian residents to explore their own state.

The intrastate campaign carries the tagline ‘A great state to be in’, a sentiment expressed by a couple sitting on the balcony during their weekend getaway.

The latest marketing push follows the ‘Welcome Back’ campaign which launched in May and coincided with COVID-19 restrictions starting to ease.

South Australian Tourism Commission chief executive Rodney Harrex said the campaigns will continue the momentum kicked off by ‘Welcome Back’.

“The response to our Welcome Back campaign has been incredible, as South Australians voted with their feet and hip-pockets in what was a strong post COVID tourism breakout, and interstate interest in our website,, was at an all-time high,” Harrex said.

“Our ‘A Great State to Be In’ campaign celebrates the wonderful opportunity that South Australians have to be able to get out and continue to discover our great state, as uncertainty around the easing of border restrictions continues.

“Where state borders are unrestricted, for Queensland and the Northern Territory, as well as for markets like Western Australia which will be important for the self-drive market, we’re enticing visitors with a strong call-to-action to come see South Australia as they look to overseas holiday alternatives.”

In the 12 months ending March 2020, Queenlanders, Northern Territorians and West Australians spent a combined $700m on holidays in South Australia. The three make up a third of the state’s interstate tourism market.

Harrex added: “At a time when regional tourism is driving the state’s $7.8 billion visitor economy and states are jockeying for position to seize the domestic tourism opportunity, we’re working to make the most of those markets which are open to us, to direct people and dollars into the 18,000 tourism businesses across South Australia.”

The TVCs launched on 19 July and the campaigns will also run across outdoor, social and digital platforms.

The new campaigns were created by TBWA. Wavemaker Adelaide handled the media strategy, planning and buying.

Last year, pre-COVID-19, TBWA and SATC launched the divisive ‘Don’t feel sorry for old mate’ series.

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TBWA won the account from incumbent local operator KWP in 2018.


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