South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory are joining forces to lure international backpackers away from the country’s east coast while the Victorian Backpacker Operators Association of Victoria (BOAV) in conjunction with Tourism Vic are planning ways to lure backpackers to the Commonwealth Games next year and keep them in Melbourne and country Victoria for as long as possible.
SA, WA and the NT have unveiled a ‘Real Trips for Real Travellers’ campaign that includes a 36-page guide promoting three travelling routes the Explorer Highway (Adelaide to Darwin), the Nullarbor (Adelaide to Perth) and the journey between Perth and Darwin.
The guide provides information on self-drive or tour options, as well as attractions along the way.
South Australia tourism minister Jane Lomax-Smith says the new campaign is designed to appeal to backpackers’ sense of adventure by challenging them to explore less travelled areas within Australia and let them experience some real adventures past the Blue Mountains!
IN MELBOURNE meanwhile, the backpacker market has been identified as a key target segment for the 2006 Commonwealth Games and Tourism Vic is working with operators to plan thoroughly, well in advance and learn from the Sydney Olympic Games. A reference group has been formed and on May 10 around 30 people attended an open meeting – think tank.
There were some good suggestions – to be further developed – in response to info that in 2000 Sydney backpacker operators found:
(1)during the Games there were empty backpacker beds – people sat up in Asia thinking Australia would ‘full’;
(2)the 2 months after the Games were really slow;
(3)revenue from backpackers for the Olympics year was actually down on other years;
Penny Olive from Tourism Vic made the point that backpackers likely to be in Australia next year are planning their holidays now, so they need to:
a)get info to them now, via the internet, and
b)attract the new arrivals in Sydney south, with a calendar full of fun and loads of things to do plus work opportunities – in southern harvests or hospitality.
One idea was to set up a two month ‘apres-Games’ party scene in SE Oz – a jam-packed calendar of regional events, such as a string of B & S Balls, complementing major events in Melbourne – the idea being to plan it so operators and communities work together to keep the estimated 6-8000 backpackers in SE Oz!
For more info contact:
Meg Allen, President BOAV: firstname.lastname@example.org
Penny Olive, Tourism Vic: email@example.com