News February 15, 2021

State governments look at music for tourism reboot as NSW web series hits 750k views

State governments look at music for tourism reboot as NSW web series hits 750k views

State governments are partnering with musicians and the music industry to push their post-pandemic tourism reboots, with two projects reaching audiences of over 1.1 million.

The NSW Government’s multi-episode web series The Long Road has reached over 750,000 views on YouTube and IGTV, tourism minister Stuart Ayres reported.

The series, by Destination NSW, Havas Sports & Entertainment and creative agency Emotive, launched in November and runs to June 2021.

With music supervised by Havas chief and former artist manager, Francis Coady, it follows Amy Shark, Connie Mitchell from Sneaky Sound System, Troy Cassar-Daley, Baden Donegal from Ocean Alley and Polish Club going on scenic tourist drives with host Ash London.

The aim was to showcase picturesque regional destinations including Kosciuszko Alpine Way, Darling River Run, Greater Blue Mountains Drive, Rainforest Way and the Mighty Murray Drive, and highlight tourist spots and experiences, local foods, sports and community spirit.

The locations were also featured on and, with ad spend on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Spotify, digital publishers such as We Are Explorers and influencers, and marketing campaigns with partners including Tripadvisor, Kayak, Helloworld, Welcome to Country and Wotif to drive bookings.

The latest addition to the series this month was Guy Sebastian, who spruiked the 140km-long Grand Pacific Drive on the South Coast where he holidays frequently, and featuring meerkats, koalas, golf games and helicopter rides.

His episode received over 57,000 views in the first three days.

Minster Ayres, when unveiling the 750,000 viewing figure touched on the crux of the campaign: “NSW is full of incredible destinations, experiences and locals. It’s great to see that audiences really do have an appetite to explore these through the eyes of Aussie artists including Guy Sebastian, and hopefully follow in their footsteps with their own NSW escape.”

Victoria has also been drawing on musicians and the wider industry to promote itself, including via the 2021 Sounds Better Together concert series with Mushroom Group from January 23 to 30.

A January 30 broadcast of the series on Nine, which highlighted the concert venues as tourism draws, drew a metro and regional viewing audience of 400,000.

The ACT’s chief minister Andrew Barr also indicated its campaign to recover the $1.3 billion lost to its visitor expenditure last year will be tied in with increasing jobs and recovery for tourism, hospitality and the arts & music.

The recent ACT Budget provided tax relief to Canberra’s hotels, music venues and hospitality industry through rebates and fee relief.

The ACT Event Fund will help festivals and events develop, market and promote activities.

But not all government, tourism and music industry collaborations are as harmonious.

In 2018, the SA Tourism Commission launched Rewards Wonder, a 60-second ad featuring SA acts and a five-day livestream using 120 hours of continual footage set to 100 SA songs.

But there was a bitter backlash when musicians complained “vulnerable” emerging artists were being exploited by being offered just $150.

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