Hamish & Andy, Zoe Foster-Blake and Hannah Gadsby star in Tourism Australia ad promoting domestic travel

Comedians Hamish and Andy star in an advertising campaign encouraging Australians to travel domestically during the Christmas holidays.

The "Gift of Travel" advertisement begins with Tourism Australia ambassadors Hamish Blake and his entrepreneur wife Zoe Foster-Blake as they plan the perfect gift for Andy Lee.

They call Australian personalities from around the country to get advice on the perfect gift, such as fellow comedian Hannah Gadsby in Tasmania, Outback Wrangler Matt Wright in the NT, NRL great Johnathan Thurston in Queensland, and actor Hugh Sheridan and Elli Beer (the daughter of famous cook Maggie Beer) in SA.

The Blakes decide to buy Andy a skydiving trip and Andy jumps out of a plane to finish off the star-studded advertisement.

Hamish said buying someone a travel gift was "a great way to help tourism operators and businesses".

"You're obviously giving someone that you love an incredible experience that they are never going to forget, and that is better than just another thing that you have bought off the internet which we have all done heaps of this year," he said.

The Blakes decide to buy Andy a skydiving trip and Andy jumps out of a plane to finish off the star-studded advertisement. Picture: Tourism Australia.

The Blakes decide to buy Andy a skydiving trip and Andy jumps out of a plane to finish off the star-studded advertisement. Picture: Tourism Australia.

Tourism Australia Managing Director Phillipa Harrison said the campaign was "about encouraging Australians to give more meaningful gifts this holiday season and in doing so give back to tourism operators and communities who have been among the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic".

"Last year, Australians spent, on average, $770 on gifts during the holiday season equating to $16 billion in total. If we can encourage people to spend just a fraction of that on travel instead it would be a multi-billion dollar boost for the tourism industry," Mr Harrison said.


"Whilst the uncertainty around state borders can make booking challenging, the wonderful thing about giving a travel or experience voucher is that they will be there ready for use when restrictions allow and people are ready to go.

"We know from our research that there are high levels of pent-up tourism demand in Australia, so by giving the gift of travel, people can be sure they are giving a gift that people will want. So, rather than giving socks give a surfing lesson or a walking tour."

Eyes on Singapore

Tourism Australia is also targeting Singaporean travellers with a $4 million 'Yours to Explore' advertising campaign across social media, TV, radio, cinema and print, which will run until June 2022.

One 30-second video advertisement highlights Australia's cities, beaches, natural wonders and wildlife before inviting Singaporeans to "get ready to say 'G'day' because Australia is yours to explore".

Singaporean travellers spent $1.53 billion in Australia in 2019, of which $837 million was of which $837 million was spent by leisure travellers alone.

On average they spend $2,624 per trip and $269 per night, making them the second highest market after the US.

Tourism Australia Managing Director Phillipa Harrison said: "Quarantine-free travel between our two countries is also an important step in rebuilding international tourism to Australia, and also provides a framework for the resumption of inbound travel from other key international markets in time."

"We are inviting Singaporeans to take the opportunity to relax, reconnect with loved ones, and discover - or perhaps rediscover - some of the lesser-known parts of Australia that make us such an incredible holiday destination," Ms Harrison said.

Singaporeans made up five per cent of all international arrivals to Australia in 2019, making them the sixth largest source market for international visitation and seventh most valuable for spend.

Travellers from Singapore spend on average eight nights holidaying in Australia, of which 44 per cent are spent in regional areas, making them a huge boon to rural economies.

Families reunited 

Friends and families were reunited as Singaporean travellers arrived at Sydney and Melbourne Airports on Sunday, November 21 after border reopened to fully-vaccinated Singaporean travellers.

Singaporean travellers can currently travel to NSW, Victoria and the ACT and no longer have to spend 14 days in hotel quarantine when they arrive.

Only fully-vaccinated Singaporeans who travel from Singapore and return a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure can enter the country.

A similar arrangement is in place with New Zealand with fully vaccinated eligible visa holders and citizens from Japan and South Korea set to be able to travel to Australia from December 1.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said it is in the "national interest" to welcome travellers from Singapore, Japan and South Korea as they are "all very important tourist markets for Australia" on Monday.

"If we're able to move on international visitors, which we are already doing in relation to Korea, Japan and Singapore, that's an important first step," Mr Morrison said.

"We're welcoming them back with open arms and whether we can extend that to others over the course of between now and the end of the year, well, we'll look very carefully at that. That is our predisposition. But we will act cautiously, take the best advice and make those decisions when we can."

This story Hamish and Andy star in ad inspiring Aussies to travel domestically this Christmas first appeared on The Canberra Times.