The bushfire crisis has devastated large swathes of Australia, and while NSW and VIC were extremely hard-hit, South Australia’s extensive damage has also been extreme, particularly in tourism-driven areas like Adelaide Hills and Kangaroo Island. Now, a new campaign called #BookThemOut aims to draw holiday makers to the areas.
If you’ve been sussing a weekender somewhere in Oz, South Australia wants you. The campaign was started by the South Australian Tourism Commission over the weekend, and is quite similar to the NSW-led Instagram account Spend With Them, and Empty Esky.
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Happy New Year! ???? ???? ???? New Year should be spent just like this, on or near the crystal clear water. How amazing is this, at #emubay. ???? @sparkysontheloose . @Australia @SouthAustralia #seeAustralia #seeSouthAustralia #kangarooisland #authenticKI #undiscoveraustralia
Basically, both tourists and local businesses can use the hashtag #BookThemOut to highlight cool shit in the affected areas, with the aim of seeing bed & breakfasts, wineries, hotels and restaurants booked up through the year as they try and recoup lost revenue from a summer filled with fires.
There’s been a lot of miscommunication around where you can and can’t travel to right now post-bushfires, so campaigns like this, Empty Esky and Spend With Them are excellent ways to show that some spots are undamaged by fires, or ready to receive visitors again.
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CRUSH GUM TREES, GARDEN + PICNIC PARTIES ???????? Settle in the shade and enjoy a day out with your friends sampling cool wines and local fare! @murdochhill_wines has their Syrian Mobile Disco pumping all weekend or @vinteloper will have plenty of spots to picnic @lotonehundred For endless views, head up to @pikeandjoyce (pictured) and Chill on Top of the Hill or check out @sidewoodestate and their brand new home on the way into Hahndorf. Want to bring your furry friend? @olearywalker will have something for everyone this CRUSH, including the wine doggo's out there! ???????????? #crush2020 #crushfestival2020 #adelaidehillswine #seesouthaustralia
Following both Spend With Them and Empty Esky, it’s easy to see that one of the most damaging effects of the widespread bushfires beyond physical impact has been the impact on tourism – many of these coastal areas and winery-filled spots rely on summer travellers spending in their towns, something they’ve sadly seen very little of due to dangerous conditions or isolation.
Kangaroo Island, for example, has had it’s east side open through the devastation – but has seen a lack of tourists due to news reports on the fires. #BookThemOut aims to educate tourists on facts like this.
“Tourism and visitation play such a vital role in 11 of our state’s regions,” said SATC Chief Executive Rodney Harrex. “It’s now more important than ever that people travel to the Adelaide Hills and Kangaroo Island to spend with local producers, growers, tourism operators and businesses, to show their support and aid their recovery.”
Check out the hashtag #BookThemOut on Instagram, and the SATC site information here.Image: Instagram / @mark_elbourne