Wotif launch 'The Festival of Wot?' to invigorate domestic tourism and celebrate Australia's unique quirks
New insights into domestic travel commissioned by leading online travel site Wotif reveal that while domestic tourism is on the rise, few Aussies have explored beyond places they already know, leaving much of the country undiscovered.
The study shows that on average Australians have visited fewer than 1% of the 15,268 towns, cities and suburbs that dot the country – and that most Aussies (53%) can only name up to nine regional destinations across Australia. Because of this, nearly a quarter (24%) of all Aussies and 36% of those aged 25-34 years admit to feeling embarrassed about how few Australian locations they've been to.
With a smorgasbord of destinations on offer around Australia, Wotif has announces its latest initiative to encourage Aussies to take the off ramp and spend more time discovering destinations beyond their tried and tested favourites.
In a call to arms and celebration of what makes Australia great, the search is on to find towns, cities and suburbs that have something they'd like to be famous for, with Wotif set to gift a deserving Aussie location a new FESTIVAL in honour of said 'thing'. Known as the Festival of Wot?, the countrywide initiative will shine a high-beam on domestic tourism and is set to encourage more Aussies to get out of the fast lane and explore the people and places that make up this great nation.
Following the success of Australia's Next Big Thing, where Wotif gifted the Queensland town of Chinchilla The Big Melon, Wotif is encouraging Aussies to get behind this brand-new nationwide search.
Wotif Managing Director Daniel Finch said: "Last year's Next Big Thing initiative reminded us how incredible Australia is. From the hard-working melon farmers in Chinchilla to the passionate peanut committee in Kingaroy, it's clear that Aussies are proud of where they've come from.
"This year we're asking towns, suburbs and cities to tell us what they should be famous for – and we'll do our magic to make it so. We're putting on an entire FESTIVAL for one winning destination, completely dedicated to celebrating their unique claim to fame and the community around it.
"Australia's most memorable festivals are centered on celebrating a particular pastime or passion, and for many locations across the country festivals encourage a tremendous sense of community spirit. In creating The Festival of Wot?, our intention is to help celebrate some of the unique stories and characters from around the country to create an experience that locals love and is worth travelling for."
According to Wotif's research, 39% of Australians travel specifically for events and festivals, and almost half wish they attended more. What's more, festivals are a proven way to boost local tourism, with Australians having spent, on average, $421.56 at the last event or festival they travelled to attend. Across the population of 16.9 million Australians aged 18-69 years, this equates to $7.1 billion spent at local festivals and events each year, on items including tickets, accommodation, food and beverages, shopping, and attractions at the destination.
Finch continued: "With 75% of Aussies willing to detour to uncover something unique, and over half of all Aussies making holiday choices based on the potential to learn or experience more of Australia, there is so much opportunity. Where else in the world would you find locals that eat their national emblem, argue over the placement of onions on white bread, cherish a condiment called chicken salt and build a series of giant 'things' for people to visit? Australia is incredibly unique and we're looking forward to seeing what the nation comes up with."
Wotif's 'The Festival of Wot?' promotion opens today, 30 July 2019, with nominations open to the public until 18 August 2019*. In a process more intense than an Australian Idol finale, four shortlisted destination festivals will then be announced and Australia, in the ultimate display of democracy, will be able to vote for which finalist they want to win. The winner will be announced and the festival will be held by the end of the year.
Visit Wotif.com/festival for full competition details and to submit your festival idea.