Tourism Western Australia launched its new global tourism brand on Monday by lighting up Piccadilly Circus in London.
A floating whale shark – swimming with the oversized creatures is a key wildlife experience in the state – a cityscape of Perth, landscapes of The Kimberley, and the vineyards of the Margaret River region are among the images featuring this week on the oversized 3D billboard used to illustrate the new ‘Walking On A Dream’ campaign.
Carolyn Turnbull, Managing Director for Tourism Western Australia, said the high visual impact (at Piccadilly) offered ” a dreamlike, virtual experience of Western Australia” and added: “It gives UK audiences a taste of the wondrous and otherworldly experiences and wildlife that Western Australia has to offer.
“The UK is an important visitor market for Western Australia and the Piccadilly Lights placement elevates the state as a world-class destination in a crowded travel marketplace.”
The Walking On A Dream campaign is also featuring this week on billboards in Kensington and Canary Wharf, and on social media channels. TV slots are booked for later in the year.
The imagery is focused around the four themes of Time, Freedom, Connection and Space. A series of accompanying short videos are inspired by the state’s Aboriginal culture, which dates back more than 50,000 years – making it one of the planet’s oldest living cultures.
Narration is provided by Nick Abraham, a Perth-based owner and lead guide at Warrang-Bridil (meaning ‘Enlighten to Acknowledge’ in Nyoongar language), an Aboriginal cultural tours and consultancy company.
Western Australia is also working with bushcraft specialist and presenter Ray Mears on a wildlife campaign partnership with South Australian Tourism that promotes ‘safari trips’ featuring Australia’s big five – the koala, the quokka, the whale shark, the echidna and the kangaroo.
In another key imitative, astronaut Tim Peace is helping the state maximise awareness of the total solar eclipse that will take place in Western Australia on April 20.
The state hopes that the ‘Ningaloo Eclipse’ will see more than 10,000 visitors travel to Exmouth on the Coral Coast to witness one of nature’s most spectacular natural events.
Tourism Western Australia says that swimming with whale sharks is top of British visitors’ wish list when they are asked about wildlife experiences in the state, and that those heading to Ningaloo Reef for this activity can bank on a 95% ‘reliability rate’ between March and July.
If Western Australia was a country it would be the 10th largest in the world. Its gateway city Perth is also Australia’s sunniest and surrounded by spectacular natural surroundings and a range of day trips that include taking a scenic cruise on the Swan River to Fremantle, a ferry out to Rottnest Island, (known for its groups of quokkas) and a visit to the wineries of Swan Valley.
At a trade event on Monday at London’s Dilly Hotel, guests were told that prior to the pandemic the UK travel market was the state’s largest in terms of visitors and that 2022 saw those numbers almost fully recover.
In November 2022, UK visitor numbers to Western Australia hit 95% of pre-pandemic levels.
This year has also got off to a good start with January to March recording “strong” figures and 70% of pre-pandemic bookings for the January-June period already achieved.
Flight capacity for Western Australia has also recovered to 85% of pre-Coved levels.