Tourism Australia’s ‘Holiday Here This Year’ campaign urges Australians to explore their own backyards. And with a backyard as beautiful and diverse as our own, it seems we hardly need much convincing.
Launched following the devastating bushfire season in early 2020 in an effort to boost local tourism to bushfire-affected towns, the campaign has seen a second wind following COVID-19 lockdowns, which impacted regional holiday towns all over again, and in a time of recovery.
Now, as Australians prepare for summer holidays in an era when international travel is still banned, Tourism Australia is getting us excited about hitting the wide-open road and travelling interstate to see and experience all our glorious country has to offer. And, they’ve recruited two absolute legends to help them.
This Week, Hamish Blake and Zoë Foster-Blake were announced as Tourism Australia’s newest ambassadors. Loved and followed by millions of Australians, the Melbourne couple will inspire our journeys around Australia as they embark upon their own.
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If you live here in Australia, imagine, for a second, that you lived in another country. And someone said to you, ‘Hey, you’ve got a whole year to see as much of that wide, wild, wondrous Australia as you can. Go!’ I reckon you’d be excited. You’d start Googling things like ‘best beaches NSW’ and ‘can you camp at Uluru’ and, ‘do kangaroos bite.’ As part of my new role alongside @hamishblakeshotz as Tourism Australia ambassadors, for the next 12 months we will be lovingly pushing you to get out there and explore and experience Australia, for Australia. To book that trip to the Top End you’d banked for “later". To take that road trip up the coast with your mates. To find that lagoon you see on Instagram all the time. (It’s called Bitter Springs. See you there.) As the borders begin to open up, and the summer holidays beckon, we can start planning where we’d like to go. Me? I wanna show my kids The Daintree, The Kimberely, and Ninglaoo reef. (Though as a Victorian in lockdown, honestly I’d settle for Doncaster at this stage… 🙃) I wanna drive the kids along endless stretches of dusty road, and force them to pose in front of enormous and unnerving animals and fruits, and learn to dive in a motel pool in Mackay. I wanna see all the things I’d put on my yeah-yeah-it’s-not-goin-anywhere, list. And when it’s safe, I will. For Australia. For the small towns, and the big bananas, and the many businesses, travel agents, hotels and tour operators who need our support after a real turd of a year. I can’t wait. #holidayherethisyear #seeAustralia #friendsofAustralia
“With the peak summer travel period just around the corner, it is crucial that we continue to remind people of all the incredible destinations and tourism experiences that are right on their doorstep waiting to be explored,” says Tourism Australia’s managing director Phillipa Harrison.
“We’re also excited to be welcoming Hamish and Zoë to our Friends of Australia program to help us tell our story by sharing their love of travel and providing plenty of holiday inspiration to Australians of all ages.”
In Australia, one in 13 people are employed by the tourism industry. As such, the events of 2020 hit hard, and Zoë and Hamish can’t wait to become a part of the solution, which will hopefully see the local travel industry thrive once more.
“We love travelling, we love adventure, and we love Australia,” Hamish and Zoë said. “We know everybody feels like a holiday right now so it’s not exactly a tough sell, but hopefully we can help to convince those people who were putting one off or had planned something overseas, to book a holiday here.
“Not only will they create incredible memories, they’ll be helping the tourism sector right across the country to bounce back.”
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🦘🦘🦘🦘🦘🦘🦘🦘🦘 Uh oh, guys, me and and @zotheysay are the new Ambassadors for Australia! Ok, sorry, no, slight correction, ambassadors for Tourism Australia. This is the first sniff in a campaign of many elements we are so stoked to be part of, that will roll out over the next year or so. As the country takes the first tentative steps to opening up and allowing travel, this is all about helping Aussies think about new places to go and experiences they might not have thought of, or maybe have been putting off. Make this coming year The Year! As well as a chance to create Gold Level family mems, your trip will help everyone across the tourism industry recover from a devastating double hit from bushfires and COVID. It’s a classic Win-Win. VICTORIANS! Don’t smash your phone screens, I get it, I’m in lockdown too. But it will end one day (you’d have to assume) so even though for Melbournians all we can do at the moment is build our dream trip in a word doc, at least it’s something we can begin to look forward to for when we emerge. And when it’s safe and the time is right, we are gonna SPRINT into that holiday and I can tell you, with official ambassadorial authority now, the people who run the caravan parks, tours, lodges, hotels, hikes, weird-water-powered-hover-board things, shops, bakeries etc cannot WAIT to host you. #holidayherethisyear #whenyoucan! #TAAmbassador #FriendsOfAustralia
As for where these two will be going? Well, the partnership extends for the next year, so we can expect Hamish and Zoë, along with their two kids Sonny and Rudy, to cover some pretty comprehensive ground — from reef to Red Centre.
For Hamish, the must-visit spots include Bay of Fires and Bruny Island in Tasmania, The Kimberley in Western Australia, Lord Howe Island in New South Wales, and Kangaroo Island in South Australia.
“Have always wanted to visit, and after the bushfires I’m even more motivated to go and show some love to a very special part of Australia as they recover,” Hamish says of Kangaroo Island.
Zoë, on the other hand, is looking to go a little further off the beaten track. While she too is keen to visit The Kimberley, she’s also hoping to venture to the state’s Karijini National Park and Ningaloo Reef, plus the Great Barrier Reef and Uluru.
“I wanna show my kids The Daintree, The Kimberley, and Ningaloo Reef. I wanna drive the kids along endless stretches of dusty road, and force them to pose in front of enormous and unnerving animals and fruits, and learn to dive in a motel pool in Mackay.
“I wanna see all the things I’d put on my yeah-yeah-it’s-not-goin-anywhere, list. And when it’s safe, I will. For Australia. For the small towns, and the big bananas, and the many businesses, travel agents, hotels and tour operators who need our support after a real turd of a year. I can’t wait,” Zoë says.