With Australian borders set to reopen to all vaccinated visa holders from February 21, 2022, the NTO has turned its marketing focus towards Singapore residents – one of the destination’s largest inbound markets pre-pandemic, with a A$4 million (US$2.8 million) Yours to Explore campaign.
The campaign will be rolled out both online and offline, and complemented with other marketing activities to promote tours, self-drive packages and other offers in partnership with distribution partners such as Chan Brothers, UOB Travel and Klook.
“We also continue to work closely with Singapore Airlines and Qantas to recommence (more services) into Australia in the coming months,” Brent Anderson, regional general manager of South & South-east Asia, Tourism Australia, told TTG Asia.
This large investment is necessary because Australia has “long been the most popular international destination for Singaporean tourists, with more than 80 per cent repeat visitation”, Anderson noted.
Australia has implemented robust Covid-19 management measures, ranging from Covid-safe applications in each state to smaller-group size operations. Tourism Australia’s tourism website, Australia.com, also provides travellers up-to-date information on the latest border status, as well as checklists and tools to help them plan a safe trip.
Anderson said that as flexibility is one of the top priorities to get Singaporean travellers moving again, Tourism Australia has worked with its distribution partners – such as tour providers, attraction companies and travel agencies – to put in place flexible booking terms and conditions in case of Covid-19.
During the two-year hiatus, Anderson said the Australian government provided A$50 million to nine tourism regions heavily reliant on international tourism, such as the Gold Coast and Whitsundays region in Queensland, and Alice Springs in the Northern Territory.
The downtime has given rise to a suite of positive-impact tourism experiences. They include Lady Musgrave HQ, a new, zero-carbon underwater accommodation in the Great Barrier Reef; and a Conservation Connection experience that connects visitors to Kangaroo Island with naturalists and researchers.
“Singaporeans can also experience new multi-day hiking trails, high-adrenaline activities like the Burrawa Climb by BridgeClimb Sydney; and sleep in tiny solar-powered homes at Mount Majura Vineyard near Canberra. Those with children can even visit the Pooseum in Tasmania, a unique science museum dedicated solely to animal droppings!” he elaborated.
Besides new tourism experiences, this year’s calendar of events include the Dark Mofo festival at Tasmania’s Museum of Old and New Art, which runs from June 15-22 to feature large-scale light installations and a winter feast; as well as the indigenous Parrtjima festival in Northern Territory from April 8-17, which showcases Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures via live music and film screenings, dot painting and traditional craft workshops.
When asked about Western Australia’s holdout as the only closed-border state even as the country readies to welcome back tourists, Anderson stated: “Western Australia’s updated Safe Transition Plan was based on the latest health advice, and as we eagerly await full border opening in the near future, Tourism Western Australia continues to plan and look forward to offering a safe and vibrant place for Singaporean visitors when they return.”
Anderson expressed optimism in tourism revival in 2022. “We know that travellers are looking to splurge a little more, immerse themselves in more bespoke and unique experiences, find offerings that consider wellness, and explore and better understand Indigenous culture – these are all areas in which Australia has a competitive edge,” he said.