Tourism Australia campaign to live-stream ‘the best of Australia’

Australia’s peak tourism body is turning to virtual travel experiences in a bid to keep local travellers engaged and inspired throughout the COVID-19 lockdown.

Despite state and federal governments flirting with the idea of gradually easing social distancing and business restrictions, the prospect of large-scale holidays and even weekend getaways appears to be someway off. So in lieu of real-life experiences, Tourism Australia’s Live From Aus campaign will showcase the best the country has to offer, virtually.

The campaign will kick off on Friday, 15 May with a one-hour broadcast on Ten’s The Project. It will be headlined by tourism and entertainment personalities, and roll into a weekend of live broadcasts across social channels.

There will be a dance party with The Wiggles, workouts in Byron Bay, crocodile encounters, golfing lessons and a dinner party with chef Matt Moran.

The next week, from Monday, 18 May, will feature a streaming program which shows off Australia’s landscape, wildlife, food and drink, Indigenous culture, and arts and culture experiences.

Tourism Australia’s Phillipa Harrison said despite the uncertainty around when the travel industry could return to normal, now was not the time to go quiet.

“The brands that continue to engage with their audiences in a crisis are the ones that tend to recover the fastest. Our marketing job right now is about keeping Australia front of mind for travellers by using this enforced period of self-isolation to engage with people in their living rooms, feed their escapism and inspire them to travel again once the restrictions start to lift.”

Chief marketing officer of the organisation, Susan Coghill, said if the people couldn’t come to Australia, Australia had to come to the people.

“The Australian optimism is boundless and is just what the world needs right now. We will be collaborating with some of the country’s most inspiring creators, industry operators and advocates to bring the Aussie spirit into the living rooms of people around the country and the world, to get them dreaming and planning their Australian holiday,” she said.

“Viewing of live content across digital and social media globally has nearly tripled in the past month, while television viewership in Australia has climbed 11% on last year, due to people being in isolation. With Love From Aus aims to make the most of this opportunity and playing into consumers’ desire for positive content by filling their feeds with spectacular content from around Australia.”

Ten’s head of programming, Daniel Monaghan, said he was delighted Ten was partnering with Tourism Australia on the project.

“‘The Love Australia Project’ will take us for a ride through our own backyard and reconnect Aussies with the beauty that awaits us after lockdown,” he said.

“As we watch the world battle with COVID-19, never has the phrase ‘There’s no place I’d rather be’ rung more true for Australians. So while the international borders remain closed, let’s celebrate the island we live on – it truly is a fantastic place.”

Tourism minister Simin Birmingham further flirted with the idea of a lockdown-free future.

“The international border controls and restrictions that have helped to keep Australians safe are sadly inflicting enormous pain on tourism businesses all over Australia,” he said, noting consumers have also been unable to travel domestically and experience what the country has to offer.

“Those able to take breaks once restrictions are eased should do so knowing they can enjoy the time of their lives while also helping to save the businesses or jobs of fellow Australians,” he added.

“COVID-19 may have taken some of the fun out of life right now, but soon Aussies will be able to experience the sumptuous food and wine, thrilling adventures, rich culture and beautiful nature that usually make us such a favourite destination with international visitors.”

Last year, Australians spent more than $80bn on overnight trips and over $26.3bn on day trips.

And after Australia was devastated by an unprecedented bushfire season over summer, Tourism Australia had launched a Holiday Here This Year campaign, encouraging Australians to spend their tourism dollars locally, experience what the country has to offer, and save local businesses and livelihoods.

These efforts have been derailed by COVID-19.

Its earlier international push featuring Kylie Minogue and showcasing the country’s landscapes and wildlife was paused in the wake of international headlines about the devastation.


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