Council and industry working together to increase tourist visits
The July Dubbo Area Tourism Market Report from the Dubbo Regional Council (DRC) shows a return to pre-COVID visits and encouraging feedback on the Council’s marketing activity throughout the impacts of the closures.
With significant increases recorded in regional lodging and tourism operations, as well as Great Big Adventure Pass sales; The Mayor of Dubbo Regional Council, Councilor Mathew Dickerson, said it was very pleasant to have visitors return to the area.
“Tourism is an important part of our economy and it is encouraging to see such a strong return to visits during school holidays in particular. The year-over-year comparison has increased significantly as COVID lockdowns were in place this time last year, but the trend data from the four-year comparison also remains positive. Recent data shows that LGA accommodation remains higher than the previous four years at 73.4% occupancy and tourism operations are also showing strong ticket sales and visitor footfall. Councilor Dickerson said.
Mayor Dickerson says it is great to be able to greet people with confidence and encouraging to see tourists answer the call to visit the Dubbo area.
“Government initiatives such as the NSW Dine and Discover service and parent vouchers have been a real boost for the Local Government Area (LGA), which is full of great bookable tourism products. Council staff have been able to work with agencies and local industry to take advantage of the opportunity to leverage our excellent product and encourage spending and visitation in this important area. »
The Council’s tourism operations, including the Great Big Adventure Pass, received $541,958.49 as a direct result of the Service NSW Voucher scheme, which ran from March 2021 to the end of June 2022.
According to the Council’s Head of Economic Development and Marketing, Josie Howard, the digital campaign for NSW Parent Vouchers was just one of many targeted approaches the DRC took to gain positive winter visits.
“Working closely with industry to mitigate the effects of COVID lockdowns and take advantage of the opportunity for visits has been an important part of the success of recent school holidays. Council staff have established strong industry relationships and collaboratively conduct strategic and focused marketing activity that best meets the product promise of the Dubbo region,” said Ms. Howard.
“As part of a dedicated partnership program that supports overall visitor savings and spending, DRC has conducted a conversion-focused marketing activity for the winter school holidays, as we know accommodation reaches a very high occupancy rate during the intermediate spring and autumn holidays.
“In consultation with major operators, winter has been identified as an opportunity for the LGA. Delivered through proactive public relations activities including the Great Big Adventure Pass media event in Sydney; the partnership with Australian Traveller; targeted marketing to Canberra, South Sydney and the Central Coast region following the success of the NRL game in Dubbo; targeted digital marketing both throughout the pandemic times to keep Dubbo and Wellington in consideration set for our target markets and then change that message to a conversion call to action when the opportunity to welcome people into the region presented itself.
“Ahead of the winter holidays, digital marketing alone reached over 115,000 people. The specific Adventure Awaits campaign, targeting the use of the NSW Parent Voucher before the end of the financial year, encouraged potential visitors to make reservations in June for the July school holidays using their vouchers before they expire; the engagement for this campaign alone was nearly 70,000 people.