New ad campaign to rock Uluru’s image
Fettered by border shutdowns and the lack of direct flights to the red centre, Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia, which operates five hotels and resorts plus a 440-site camping ground in the shadow of Uluru, has launched its first major advertising promotion in a decade.
"We have not invested to this level in the past 10 years," said Voyages' chief marketing officer Ana Sofia Ayala, launching the Just Wow campaign.
"We thought it was the right time to do it. We wanted to change Australians' perceptions of Uluru," she said.
Voyages is operating three of its five hotels at present, including the five-star Sails in the Desert, which has just undergone a $50m refurbishment.
It is considering reopening a fourth hotel but is wary of the high labour costs in an era when state borders can be quickly shut.
Virgin pulled out of its flights about a year ago and has no immediate plans to recommence services, while Jetstar has been operating limited flights to Uluru and will increase its services from April 1, including direct daily services to Ayers Rock Airport from Sydney, three times a week from Brisbane and five times a week from Melbourne.
Charter flights from Perth, Darwin, Adelaide and North Queensland operated by Holidays of Australia were complementing the Jetstar flights, Ms Ayala said.
Voyages' Just Wow campaign of 15, 20, and 30-second films has been kept short to appeal to digital audiences but will also appear in print, with the plan to challenge travellers' perceptions of Uluru as "just a rock".
"There was a perception there is nothing to do but climb the rock," Ms Ayala said.
"But the campaign is about showing how much there is to do.
"Engaging local Anangu throughout our journey was the key to making this truly stand out from the tourism advertising norms and enabled us to intertwine local food, local talent and local stories in the work," she added.
"The intent is for this new platform to actively get Uluru off the 'bucket list' and onto the 'now list', showing travellers that there's so much more to experience than just the rock itself.
"We're actively driving a sense of urgency to encourage visitation to one of the most iconic destinations in the world."
Voyages chief executive Matt Cameron-Smith said that once TV screens were filled with people being vaccinated against COVID-19 there was an immediate upsurge in bookings.
Originally published as New ad campaign to rock Uluru's image