Tourism NSW’s Now’s The Time To Love NSW campaign has a sting in its tale for Sydney apartment residents.
The state government’s tourism arm has put its considerable promotional weight behind short-term holiday lets in its pitch to potential interstate and regional visitors to Sydney.
Promoting the recovery of regional NSW in the wake of the horrendous bushfires at the start of the year, followed by the coronavirus lockdown, links to the web page “Save on a NSW adventure” take you to a series of Stayz (HomeAway) web pages.
That’s all good for people wanting to travel to drought and fire-affected regional areas. But one of the links offers city centre “bargains”, most if not all of which are private dwellings in residential buildings in the heart of Sydney. Some are even offering themselves as “Covid-19 retreats”
The Time To Love NSW campaign was launched this weekend by NSW Tourism Minister Stuart Ayres. The aim is to make the most of eased travel restrictions within Australia and the fact that Aussies can’t travel overseas at the moment, due to the global spread of Covid-19.
“NSW residents took almost 2 million international leisure trips last year worth $16.7 billion so there is a huge opportunity to entice our overseas holidaymakers to become NSW’s next top travellers,” says Mr Ayres.
“Forget that overseas escape – we’re showing travellers there is incredible food and wine, amazing outdoor adventures and one-of-a-kind hikes right here in NSW.”
The NSW Government’s tourism and events agency Destination NSW is launching off a major tourism marketing campaign, targeting NSW, Victorian and ACT. The campaign will run throughout June and July and includes a new TV commercial and social media videos a dedicated webpage, including direct links the Stayz short-term letting website.
“Interest in NSW road trips has jumped with a 125% increase in page views on VisitNSW.com in the past week – the demand is there, now’s the time to show our love for regional NSW,” Mr Ayres said in a press release.
“The cumulative effect of drought, bushfires and COVID-19 has been devastating for tourism operators, so we’re asking everyone who can take a holiday to hit the road or get planning as soon as possible.”
Aussies leading the way for Airbnb
Stayz is not the only short-term letting company to benefit from the expected easing of travel restrictions. Australia is said to be leading the way on the Airbnb global bounce-back.
Figures from the pro-Airbnb tracker Airdna have found almost a two-fold increase in bookings for Australia and New Zealand between April and May this year.
And the trajectory of the figures – a whole different “curve” from the one we’ve been obsessed with recently – show that Aussies are ready to hit the road just as soon as travel restrictions are fully lifted, with 57,000 new bookings listed for the third week in May.
You can credit the release of pressure from our tight and effective lockdown for a lot of that, but we still lag slightly behind the USA in percentage increases and, by any measure, they are in a real mess there.
“The global uptick is clear, but it’s worth noticing how each country is experiencing its own unique recovery,” says the Airdna report.
“New Zealand leads the charge with over 465% more bookings this week than 6 weeks prior. After doing a remarkable job shutting down the country and stunting the virus’s spread, it’s seeing a huge surge in bookings even as it heads into the winter season.”
Since April 6, the reports says, Germany has seen 367% more bookings, the United States follows with over 202%, France has seen 200% and Australian bookings are up over 189%.