Council and industry work together to grow tourism visitation

The Dubbo Region’s July Tourism Market Report from Dubbo Regional Council (DRC) shows a return to pre-COVID visitation, and an encouraging return on Council’s marketing activity throughout the impacts of lockdowns.

With significant increases recorded across both regional accommodation and tourism operations, as well as Great Big Adventure Pass sales; Mayor of Dubbo Regional Council, Councillor Mathew Dickerson says the return of visitors to the Region is very pleasing.

“Tourism is a significant part of our economy and it is encouraging to see such a strong return to school holiday visitation particularly. The year-on-year comparison has significantly increased as COVID lockdowns were in place at the same time last year, but the four-year comparison trend data also remains positive. The recent data shows the LGA’s accommodation remains higher than the four years prior at 73.4% occupancy and tourism operations are also showing strong positive ticket sales and visitor attendance.” Councillor Dickerson said.

Mayor Dickerson says it’s great to be able to welcome people back with confidence and encouraging to see tourists taking up the call to visit the Dubbo Region.

“Government initiatives such as the Service NSW Dine and Discover and Parent Vouchers have been a real boost for the Local Government Area (LGA), which is abundant with great bookable tourism product. Council staff were able to work with agencies and local industry to take advantage of the opportunity to leverage our great product and encourage spending and visitation in this important sector.”

Council tourism operations, including the Great Big Adventure Pass, benefitted to the sum of $541,958.49 as a direct result of the Service NSW Voucher program, which ran from March 2021 through to the end of June 2022.

According to Council’s Manager Economic Development and Marketing Josie Howard, the digital campaign for the NSW Parent Vouchers was only one of many targeted approaches DRC took to achieve the positive winter visitation.

“Working closely with industry to smooth the impacts of the COVID lockdowns, and take advantage of the opportunity for visitation, is an important part of the success of the recent school holidays. Council staff have built solid relationships with industry, and collaboratively drive strategic and targeted marketing activity that best meets the product promise of the Dubbo Region” Ms Howard said.

“As part of a dedicated partnership program that supports overall visitor economy and spend, DRC has driven marketing activity focused on conversion for the winter school holidays, because we know that accommodation is reaching very high occupancy during the shoulder holidays of spring and autumn.

“In consultation with major operators, winter was 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 into Canberra, South Sydney and the Central Coast area’s off the back of the successful NRL game in Dubbo; targeted digital marketing both throughout the pandemic periods to keep Dubbo and Wellington in the consideration set for our target markets, and then changing that messaging to a conversion call to action when the opportunity to welcome people back to the Region was presented.”

“Leading into the winter holidays, digital marketing alone reached over 115,000 people. The specific Adventure Awaits campaign, targeting NSW Parent Voucher use before the end of the financial year, encouraged potential visitors to make bookings in June for the July School Holidays using their vouchers before they expired; engagement from this campaign alone was close to 70,000 people.”

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