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Hamish and Zoe’s cool new gig

Tourism Australia have deployed husband-and-wife team Hamish Blake and Zoe Foster-Blake in a new $7 million campaign designed to encourage Australians to take a local holiday.While the duo say it’s not exactly a tough sell, given everybody in the country feels like a holiday right now, it comes at a critical time, with tourism sector…

Tourism Australia have deployed husband-and-wife team Hamish Blake and Zoe Foster-Blake in a new $7 million campaign designed to encourage Australians to take a local holiday.

While the duo say it’s not exactly a tough sell, given everybody in the country feels like a holiday right now, it comes at a critical time, with tourism sector losses estimated to be as high as $1 billion per month since the closure of international and state borders.

The campaign, which will be rolled out from today across print, social media, radio and outdoor advertising, showcases both big-ticket destinations as well as those that may be less familiar.

“There’s no chance you could see all of Australia, and the more you dig the more you find,” Hamish said.

“There’s hundreds and hundreds of places that you might not be familiar with or you might not have been. We’ve got this window of opportunity to explore Australia in a way that we might not have been thinking about a year ago.”

Zoe said like a lot of couples, they had previously put off plans to see different parts of the country.

Hamish said it “wasn’t much of a slogan”, but if the campaign had an underlying message, it would be “Australia: It’s Been Here All Along”.

The Melbourne-based couple said their ultimate Aussie getaway was one complete lap of the continent.

“For a long time, it’s always been a fantasy of mine that we’d take the kids [Sonny, 6, and Rudy, 3] out of school and home school them, basically because we want our youngest kid to be old enough to swim in a creek without that being quite dangerous,” Hamish said.

“But with what’s happened, we’ve been going through that bucket list that we have been keeping the last few years, and going ‘Why wait until 2024? Let’s do it now’.”

Zoe said while she personally was drawn to destinations like WA’s Middle Lagoon and NT’s Bitter Springs, “the bigs” – Australia’s estimated 150 plus-sized attractions – would definitely feature in a future family road trip.

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“The rule is that if you’re in 200 kilometres of a big, so that you can get there and back in a day, then you have to see the big,” Hamish said.

A key message of the Holiday Here This Year campaign has been to encourage holiday-makers to make sure they book experiences, not just accommodation and transport.

Zoe said a guided tour of the Great Barrier Reef was one of the things she wanted to make sure her children saw, having experienced it herself when she was younger.

Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham said that with restrictions easing and some borders opening up, “the best support that can be given to the industry is for Aussies to make bookings and undertake COVID-safe trips”.

“With our international borders expected to remain closed for the foreseeable future and the summer holidays only a couple of months away, this is a shout out to all Australians who are in a position to do so, to try something new and consider booking a holiday to a destination within Australia they have never been to before,” Senator Birmingham said.

Tourism Australia Managing Director Phillipa Harrison said the campaign was “just the first of a series of initiatives … to drive as much domestic demand as possible, particularly to those regions and operators that are typically popular with international visitors.”

See more at www.australia.com/holidayhere

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