Australia has finally launched a new tourism campaign, and it's taking the much overdue steps of encouraging visitors to travel to lesser-known destinations and invest in local communities.
Tourism Australia’s new global campaign is, unlike its previous efforts, not focused on showcasing Australian celebrities. It’s instead addressing issues pertaining to overtourism and the country’s Indigenous communities through a film highlighting its attractions.
The $125 million campaign, created in collaboration with marketing agency M&C Saatchi, is a major part of the organization’s strategy to rebuild Australia’s tourism industry coming out of the pandemic, with inbound tourism still hitting only 34 percent of pre-Covid levels.
The film, titled G’day, stars a computer-generated kangaroo named Ruby voiced by Australian actress Rose Byrne and toy unicorn named Louie voiced by actor Will Arnett. It starts with Ruby stuck in a box — a nod to the restrictions that rendered many travelers unable to explore their backyards. Ruby and Louie then go on to explore Australia’s most popular tourist destinations, including the Great Barrier Reef, Sydney Opera House, downtown Melbourne, and the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.
The video also touches on overtourism, a subject Skift has thoroughly examined in recent years. Australian authorities had expressed concerns, prior to the pandemic, that the country might be at risk of suffering from overtourism.
But the most powerful part of the video features an Indigenous Aboriginal whose people are native to the region surrounding Uluru, speaking in her local language. “The stories live through the people,” Ruby said. Indigenous tourism was growing exponentially in Australia pre-pandemic, with the number of indigenous cultural tourism visitors — defined as those who participate in at least one indigenous tourism activity during their trip — increasing on average 9 percent annually from 2013 to 2019.
And as countries seek to disperse tourism’s financial benefits to regions outside of major cities — such as Sydney and Melbourne, both featured in the video — industry executives need to plan intelligently to ensure that money is invested back into the communities tourists travel so far to see.
“This global tourism campaign is a critical step to rebuilding our visitor economy and supporting our tourism industry, which has been through the most challenging period in recent years,” Australia’s tourism minister Don Farrell said about the campaign, which also includes a 60-second TV commercial and advertisements in print.
Have a confidential tip for Skift? Get in touch
Photo credit: Uluru is featured prominently in Australia's latest tourism campaign. Tourism Australia