New NT Tourism campaign puts focus on domestic tourism

With international travel off the agenda thanks to COVID-19 restrictions, local tourist bodies want to be the answer to where home-bound Australians take their next trip

Looking to make it to the top of the ‘must see’ travel list, Tourism Northern Territory has launched a new national marketing campaign, ‘The Territory is the Answer’, which comes as borders to the territory are soon to re-open.

Tourism NT executive general manager of marketing, Tony Quarmby, said the campaign’s theme was a deliberate choice and speaks to one of the biggest questions in today’s current climate - ‘Where do we go and what can we do now?' - while the coronavirus pandemic continues to unfold.

It’s well understood that travel and tourism has been badly compromised by the coronavirus. Quarmby told CMO all the upheaval in the last few months has meant shifting a lot of planned activities and really watching and listening to what the Australian public has been saying in terms of their fears and their concerns.

“What they're still interested in doing, what they're not interested in doing in certain circumstances,” Quarmby said.

The tourism body tapped into its partners, which have really been going out and asking their customers and their audience how they’re tracking and how they’re feeling about travel. “And it's really understanding that sentiment which has driven the creative direction of the new campaign and the new TV ads and out of home, print and radio creative,” Quarmby explained.

This campaign is intended to raise awareness about the region’s popular tourist icons as well as the less well-known spots, and to encourage country-bound Australian travellers to visit. With borders shut, all of a sudden, Australians are having to put domestic destinations on the top of their list.

“Australians are some of the world's greatest travellers. But what's in our backyard, often gets pushed down the priority list, even though they're some of the most incredible experiences in the world,” Quarmby explained to CMO.

“Never before has international travel been off the table for Australian travellers and this is an opportunity for people who usually seek overseas experiences to now consider local destinations they have previously put off until ‘one day’ in the future. That ‘one day’ is now,” he added.

The industry is still in survival mode, with a fight for life for some operators that have been badly affected by the lockdowns and international travel restrictions. Australia and the territory have the benefit of lots of beautiful natural landscapes and one key thing that’s become a commodity in the pandemic - space. Travellers uneasy about crowds, for example, may find these destinations appealing. 

“I think the Territory will benefit from a year or two of domestic travel, but we can't dismiss the importance of international travel,” Quarmby said.  

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