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With the onset of the dual crises, and subsequent travel bans and suspension of aviation services, Tourism Australia halted much of our campaign activity in early 2020. During this period, we continued to assess our operations and our domestic and international settings. This included undertaking domestic and international consumer research to understand consumer sentiment and behaviour and the development of a framework to guide a staged approach to our marketing activity, to ensure resources would only be spent where and when they were most effective.

While travel bans were in place both in Australia and many of our key markets, it was not appropriate to undertake tactical marketing and/or brand marketing that actively promoted travel to Australia. However, we recognised there was an opportunity to continue to share sensitively delivered content that provided informative and inspirational escapism about Australia to inspire visitation when consumer confidence returned. During this period, we concentrated our marketing efforts on sharing content through our social and digital channels to promote ‘holiday dreaming’ across our leisure and business events channels.

We also continued to develop a program of initiatives to ensure the tourism industry would be ready to bounce back when the time is right, including domestic campaign planning (including a road trips campaign); and international campaigns, including re-entry into leisure marketing in New Zealand. These initiatives were developed in partnership with STOs and the Australian tourism industry.