NSW unveils campaign to draw in domestic and international travel post pandemic

A NSW tourism campaign has been launched in a bid to bring visitors back to the state after Sydney endured more than 100 days in COVID-19 lockdown. The NSW government has unveiled a new tourism campaign to sell the state to domestic and international visitors as it reopens.

Premier Dominic Perrottet and Tourism Minister Stuart Ayres on Sunday launched the advertising campaign, titled Feel New.

The campaign cost “a couple of million dollars” to produce and about $10 million has been allocated so far to promote it in TV, print and social media.

A TV spot features some of NSW’s most treasured locations as well as a cover of Nina Simone’s 1965 classic Feeling Good by Northern Beaches artist Azure Ryder and Sydney-based producer duo Breathe.

“Too often we’ve relied on on the buildings, the (Sydney Harbour) Bridge, the heart of the Opera House and the harbour,” Mr Ayres told reporters. “They are exceptionally beautiful. There’s no doubt about that. But this campaign is about moving a bit beyond them to be able to say they’re always going to be there.”

Mr Ayres said the campaign was already in the works before the pandemic hit but it would help the industry get back on its feet as domestic and international borders reopen.

“We think it’s a way of saying to every single tourism operator who has done it tough over the last 20 months that we are right behind you,” he said.

Since Sydney’s 106-day lockdown ended earlier this month, Mr Ayres said there has been a 100 to 200 per cent rise in hospitality bookings and a 20 to 25 per cent rise in occupancy in Sydney hotels.

He acknowledged they were relatively low numbers but described them as “green shoots.”

Despite only Australian citizens and their families initially being allowed into NSW when it scraps quarantine for fully vaccinated international travellers from November, Mr Perrottet said the new campaign was targeted at overseas tourists as well as those at home.

“This is not a short-term play. This a long-term play for our state,” Mr Perrottet told reporters. “We want our people to stay, we want the rest of the country to visit and we want the world to come and feel and experience the best that our state has to offer.”

The government says it is aiming to turn the state into a top tourism destination in the Asia Pacific, with the goal of generating $65 billion in visitor expenditure by 2030.

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