The 2019/20 summer bushfires immediately affected Australian tourism destinations, products and experiences, with many domestic and international consumers delaying or cancelling their travel plans, including to areas that were not directly affected by the fires.
In response to this significant decline in visitation across the country, the Holiday Here This Year campaign was launched on 23 January 2020 to encourage Australians to support Australia’s tourism industry by holidaying at home. The campaign aimed to tap into the goodwill and support generated for local communities impacted by the bushfires, and the Aussie spirit and character of helping a mate when in need. The message was simple, with a call to Australians to plan, book and take a domestic holiday and share their experiences with friends and online to help support and promote domestic holidays. The promotion ran across print and outdoor, content partnerships, radio and regional television and included a social media video featuring industry members from across the country. Tourism Australia also worked with all states and territories and partners to amplify the message in their marketing.
At the core of the campaign was a rallying cry that industry and state and territory partners could leverage – the Holiday Here This Year stamp was created for use by tourism businesses of all levels to integrate into their communications, with the stamp and other assets shared through our industry toolkit.
Following the launch in January, we continued the planning and roll-out of the campaign. However, with announcement of COVID-19 as a global pandemic on 11 March 2020, and subsequent lock-down and introduction of travel restrictions, all activity was paused on 19 March 2020. Through March and April, the situation was monitored. With improving consumer confidence as a result of declining incidences of COVID-19 in Australia, return to marketing activity was undertaken on 15 May 2020. Content partnerships with News Corp, Concrete Playground and Broadsheet were rolled out, with the aim of keeping the travel dream alive.
At 30 June 2020, the campaign has reached over 9 million people on social media channels and the campaign page on australia.com has been visited by more than 21,000 people. The #HolidayHereThisYear hashtag has been used over 74,000 times, and over 19,000 people have pledged to ‘holiday here this year’ by clicking ‘attending’ on our Facebook event page – an innovative way to use this social media format.
The second phase of the campaign, designed to support tourism recovery, is in planning and development, with the aim to go live in October 2020 pending that status of COVID-19 and border restrictions.