People from across South Australia and Victoria will be inspired to book their next holiday along the Murray River, Lakes and Coorong (MRLC) thanks to a major $100,000 tourism marketing campaign being launched today onboard the iconic PS Murray Princess in Mannum, South Australia.
The innovative, creative and authentic campaign is the first of its kind to be released out of this region, and will propel beautiful up-close imagery, films, stories and highlights of our local experiences to audiences through both digital and print mediums.
The two heroes of the campaign are a new 24-page visitor guide booklet, plus a short 90 second hero film which showcase everything from a hot lap at The Bend Motorsport Park or up-close encounter with Monarto Zoo’s Lion pride, to the more relaxing moments such as a slow cruise past the Murray River’s ochre cliff faces, or a food and wine experience in Langhorne Creek.
Some of the more unique experiences on show as part of the campaign, include the hilarious sheep racing at Big Bend, a sneak peek inside a touring limo bus, the Coorong’s new ‘catch and eat’ seafood tour, plus a glimpse into one of the most popular premium riverfront homes at Bowhill.
An initial print-run of more than 30,000 new visitor guide booklets will be distributed nationally through Visitor Information Centres and key tourism venues. Plus, the digital campaign – including film, photos, blogs, eNews and more will be distributed to a national (and in some cases global) audience – estimated to reach hundreds of thousands of people in 2019.
Murray River, Lakes and Coorong Tourism Development Manager Julie Bates has led the development of this project since mid-2018, and said it had been an exceptional effort by everyone involved to bring the creative suite together.
“By combining the power of print and digital, with the increasingly influential medium of online film, we expect to reach close to one-million people during the Murray River, Lakes and Coorong 2019 major tourism campaign roll-out,” Mrs Bates says.
“Over the past year, we’ve invested heavily in developing our digital strategy. Conservative figures since December 2017 show we’ve tripled our visitors to the regional tourism website (themurrayriver.com) and grown our social media reach to more than 280,000 people per month during peak periods. This has ensured a major boost to our region’s tourism brand into key visitor markets across Australia, and the world.
“We also understand however, that many visitors still love their printed visitor booklets, so we’ll be delivering these as well to ensure we reach everyone, no matter what their digital access is.”
The creative team behind the campaign managed to film all video footage on smartphones, in a bid to demonstrate a truly authentic ranges of incredible experiences that viewers then knew they could re-create themselves.
“Everyone carries their own video camera in their pockets now, with the ability to capture and share great footage with their friends and family every day. On a strategic level, we want to tap in to this public affinity with video and photo sharing, and remind people of the experience they can capture themselves when they visit us.
“In essence, we want to help build our army of travelling ambassadors who help share to social media, the best bits of our region, and this is the start of making that concept come to life.
“Whether it’s a quick video of the Lions 360 experience, a panoramic snap of the Murray Princess heading down the River, or a quick clip of your family’s morning views from a riverfront holiday home – there’s always a great moment to share and remind the world just how lucky we are to have this region on our doorstep.”
The campaign has been funded with significant support from local Councils – including the Rural City of Murray Bridge, Mid Murray Council, Coorong District Council and Alexandrina Council – and from the South Australian Tourism Commission and Regional Development Australia Murraylands and Riverland.
Local tourism operators who also supported the major campaign include:
Mrs Bates was also pleased to note that local creative agencies had been used to deliver the project, ensuring an early investment in to the local economy, not to mention the significant outcomes ahead for tourism operators.
“We have exceptionally talented people working in our region and across South Australia, and their experience, passion and knowledge have helped drive this project from the beginning,” Mrs Bates says.
MRLC Tourism Alliance (MLRCTA) Chair John Cvetko said the campaign would deliver upon a number of key strategies from their MRLCTA Strategic Plan 2017-2020.
“Through this campaign, we’re delivering across many of our strategic pillars, including ‘Driving Demand’, ‘Working Better Together’ and ‘Supporting What We Have’,” Mr Cvetko says.
“What has been launched today is a fantastic collaboration, and shows what we can achieve on a limited budget.
“All of this work is just the start though, of what we can achieve as a region when we work together – and this is the big picture thinking I’m encouraging our operators and funding partners to consider. I believe we can still work better together – that is our Councils, our government agencies, all of our operators and our communities.
“By working together, we can continue to grow our visitor economy, producing more great marketing campaigns, targeting growing markets like those in New Zealand or China – or even simply making sure that all of those folks in the city, spend their next holiday with us (and tell their friends to do the same).
“If we can start to think outside of the square, then I know there’s so much more opportunity for our region.”
Following today’s launch, you can view and download all campaign materials from www.themurrayriver.com.
Julie Bates, MRLC Tourism Development Manager
P: 0458 505 169 | E: firstname.lastname@example.org