‘Spend the same way you do overseas’: Tourism Minister implores Aussies to live large in local cities with new ad blitz

Wine and cocktails on a table at a bar. There is white wine with a fruit cocktail. Backlit at sunset with lens flare
  • Tourism Minister Dan Tehan told Australians to “dig deep” and resist the urge to be “stingy” when booking a domestic holiday at the Destination Australia conference held yesterday.
  • Tourism Australia launched its advertising campaign at the event, encouraging people to spend big in cities.
  • Overnight trip expenditure saw a loss of $27.1 billion in 2020, with major cities including Brisbane, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Sydney and Perth experiencing the most significant decline.
  • Visit Business Insider Australia’s homepage for more stories.

Tourism Minister Dan Tehan has a message to Australians planning to travel this year: “dig deep” and resist the urge to be “stingy” when booking a domestic holiday.

The Minister’s motivational speech was delivered on Thursday at the annual Destination Australia conference held in Sydney, where Tourism Australia also launched its new advertising campaign encouraging Australians to spend money in cities.

Minister Tehan added that there should be “no penny pinching in Australia this year” and that Australians should be spending “the same way you do overseas.”

Tourism Australia’s campaign is the second installment of its ‘Holiday Here This Year’ campaign, launched in January 2020 in response to the horrific bushfire season and focused on directing spenders to empty their pockets in the worst-hit regional areas.

This year, the campaign’s leaning hard on the star power of comedy-influencer-beauty-company-founder power couple Hamish Blake and Zoe Foster Blake, who also bring the heft of a combined almost 1.9 million Instagram followers.

Their reach spans multiple industries thanks to Blake’s international TV comedy career and Foster Blake’s burgeoning skincare empire, media appearances and influencer work.

With a strong focus on partnerships with hotels and metropolitan tourism companies, the multi-platform campaign puts its focus on injecting money into dining, entertainment, retail and cultural offerings in Australia’s capital cities.

Spending in cities still down

The campaign comes on the back of sluggish gains by Australian capital cities in the months since nation-wide COVID-19 lockdowns eased, as well as the end of JobKeeper – and it’s attendant cash injection – looming on the horizon on March 31.

Overnight trip spend decreased by 34% across Australia in the year ending September 2020.

This marks a loss of $27.1 billion compared to the previous year, with major cities including Brisbane, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Sydney and Perth experienced the most significant decline.

While Tourism Australia has spent more than $21.6 million of taxpayers’ money encouraging Australians to travel domestically, it has been continually stymied by unexpected state border closures, and the sector is worried about how the industry will fare without more support from the states.

Minister Tehan addressed this issue in his speech, calling for premiers to do their bit and keep borders open.

He told premiers to “have confidence that we have the vaccine rolling out” and to keep borders open in order to protect “more than 660,000 jobs right across the nation.”

He also announced he will meet with state and territory ministers on March 10 to uncover what “measures and support” they can bring to the table for the struggling tourism industry once JobKeeper ends on March 31.

“The federal government, and the states and territories have a very important role to play,” Minister Tehan said.

“JobKeeper has assisted and helped the sector throughout the last 12 months, but JobKeeper will end at the end of March. At the moment, we’re looking at what targeted measures we can put in place to help and support [the sector].”