As the official tourism organization for Canberra and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Government, VisitCanberra worked with Expedia Group Media Solutions to encourage domestic visits to the capital and surrounding areas following the 2019-20 Australian bushfires.
During the 2019-20 bushfire season, Australia experienced some of the most devastating and widespread fires in living memory, claiming lives and causing severe disruption to communities and businesses across the country. The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) was heavily impacted, declaring a state of emergency in January 2020 as bushfires crept closer to the nation’s capital, Canberra.
The impact of the fires was acutely felt by the Australian tourism sector, with decreased visitation and booking demand to affected destinations from both international and domestic travelers. As the nation emerged from the crisis, VisitCanberra wanted to show that the capital was open for business and encourage Australians to vacation in the ACT to support the territory and the wider Australian tourism industry.
VisitCanberra aimed to develop a campaign that would work in partnership with Tourism Australia's ‘Holiday Here This Year’ initiative. This nationwide campaign was designed to boost tourism in the aftermath of the bushfires by encouraging Australians to vacation domestically in 2020.
Working closely with VisitCanberra, Expedia Group Media Solutions developed a media campaign that shared this message with Australians, letting them know that Canberra and the ACT were open for business and ready to greet them. All advertising assets featured the call to action ‘Holiday Here in Canberra This Year’, paired with beautiful imagery from the ACT.
The campaign was targeted to domestic travelers and incorporated compelling offers, email marketing and a range of display advertising formats, which featured in prominent positions across Expedia.com.au. VisitCanberra also utilized a 2:1 disaster relief match from Expedia Group Media Solutions, helping to increase visibility for the advertisements.
All activity led travelers to a dedicated landing page on Expedia.com.au, featuring inspirational content and rich media, showcasing the very best of Canberra and the ACT, from art and culture to the great outdoors. The landing page also featured bookable deals on flights and hotel listings, helping to drive bookings and improve conversion.
The campaign delivered an impressive 15:1 return on ad spend (ROAs) and generated 1.4 million impressions during the two-week campaign period. This activity helped drive a significant increase in visitation to ACT, with increases of more than 25% in both passenger and room night demand, and a nearly 20% increase in daily booking revenue, when compared with 14 days prior.
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