Ipswich's recent tourism success has come from thinking differently, researching our audience and challenging conventional marketing. Our goal – increase Domestic Overnight Visitation. Our Google Trekker 'Human Wanted' campaign embraced new technology and aligned with Australia's #1 website – Google Maps – usually applied to National Parks but we became the first region in the Southern Hemisphere to map our visitor precincts, walks and highlights. The journey to create this new visitor resource became a narrative for online audiences to maintain their interest over a year, build awareness, market the destination and reap free media coverage in the process.
Challenge, Objectives & Strategy
Ipswich is a regional city and former mining town in South East Queensland 30 minutes drive southwest of Brisbane.
In recent years it has reinvented its image to build a tourism economy.
An imaginative and innovative marketing team were appointed in 2015, supported by an 80% increase in council funding, to invigorate the city's image but they faced considerable challenges. The South East Queensland (SEQ) region is one of Australia's most dynamic visitor destinations comprising the iconic coastal holiday strips of the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast, and Queensland's capital city – Brisbane. Ipswich's population of 206,000 is around 6% of SEQ's 3.5 million residents but in tourism terms it is dwarfed by the popularity of the more mature tourism economies of its neighbours and by their marketing budgets.