Gippsland front and centre in tourism campaign

GIPPSLAND has featured front and centre in a multi-million-dollar campaign launched this week, which encourages Victorians to take a break in their home state and support the local tourism industry.

Visit Victoria’s new ‘Stay Close, Go Further’ campaign leads with two regions most affected by last summer’s bushfires and COVID -19 restrictions – Gippsland and the High Country.

‘Stay Close, Go Further’ promotes Victoria across multiple platforms – television, print, radio, digital and social – and has launched in line with the state’s ‘ring of steel’ opening at midnight Sunday.

The campaign will run concurrently with Destination Gippsland’s ‘Little Wonders’ campaign, which launched October 18, in line with regional Victorians having more freedom to travel.

The ‘Little Wonders’ campaign features a series of 15 and 30-second videos that tap into small moments spent in Gippsland’s national parks, beaches, hiking and cycling trails, arts and culture nooks, breweries and wineries.

Having focused on regional Victorians since the launch of the campaign, ‘Little Wonders’ will now be extended to target Melburnians.

Destination Gippsland chief executive Terry Robinson said while 2020 had been a difficult year for the region’s tourism businesses, light was being seen at the end of the tunnel.

“With the support of Visit Victoria’s new ‘Stay Close, Go Further’ campaign, our own ‘Little Wonders’ campaign, and the broader Tourism Australia ‘Holiday Here This Year’ messaging, Gippsland is in a unique position to benefit from multiple campaigns promoting the region to Melburnians eager to make the most of their new freedoms,” he said.

“Domestic travel made up 96 per cent of the visitor market in Gippsland in the year ending December 2019, with 1.4 million domestic visitors staying overnight – and 90 per cent of these domestic visitors hailed from within Victoria.”

Last year the domestic overnight intrastate market was worth $9 billion, larger than both interstate overnight and international overnight markets.

“With a strong domestic market and little reliance on large numbers of international visitors, Gippsland is well positioned to benefit from the increased focus on domestic tourism this year, and we have already received encouraging feedback from businesses to indicate that this will be a bumper spring-summer season,” Mr Robinson said.

He said Gippsland tourism businesses could benefit from this campaign activity by ensuring their Australian Tourism Data Warehouse listings were up to date, so that their businesses were listed on the Visit Gippsland, Visit Victoria and Tourism Australia websites.

Tourism Sport and Major Events Minister Martin Pakula said by holidaying locally, Victorians could support the state’s recovery, backing local communities, businesses and jobs.

“Victoria boasts amazing produce, places and people and we want all Victorians, if they can, to get out and explore our own beautiful backyard,” he said.

Victorians are now able to travel between regional Victoria and Melbourne, and accommodation is open across the state for holidays.