Tilma Client 'Visit Deni' uses business levy to match funding from Destination NSW!
Often small regional destinations don't have the big bucks for tourism promotion. We commend Edward River Council for pushing ahead with a levy on commercial businesses in Deniliquin to increase their available funds so they could apply for matched funding from Destination NSW. This has given Council a budget of $240,000 for tourism promotion! This was a smart, strategic way for Visit Deni to create an exciting campaign.
We love working with them because Deniliquin is an untapped destination with so many great experiences and events to share. Deni is on the NSW/VIC border on the Edward River - a playground for water skiing, kayaking, boating and fishing - and it's home to the Deni Ute Muster. This campaign allows Deni to let Melbourne residents, just 3 hours away, discover this little-known destination.
Tilma Group assisted Edward River Council to secure the matched funding from Destination NSW, and is now developing and designing the Destination Appeal Campaign, involved in creative development and activation as well as evaluation.
Local newspaper, the Riverine Herald, shares some of the results of the campaign, which is still just one-quarter of the way through:
The Deniliquin Promotion Fund’s television advertising campaign is having the desired effect, according to McLean Beach Caravan Park manager Pam Sutton.
Mrs Sutton said she sold five annual caravan sites at the park in January, with each purchaser citing the television commercials for inspiring them to visit Deniliquin.
And she said there is further interest in the park from other ‘‘new’’ families.
Focusing on local river, retail and recreational activities, the commercials have been funded through a levy on commercial properties in Deniliquin.
The controversial levy was implemented two years ago — as a three-year trial — with the intention of attracting more visitors, residents and investors.
Mrs Sutton, who is the Deniliquin Business Chamber representative on the Deniliquin Promotions Advisory Group, says the results she is seeing justify the decision to push ahead with the levy.
‘‘The families who have purchased permanent sites are saying they’ve seen the ads about Deniliquin and then jumped on our website to take a look at what’s available,’’ Mrs Sutton said.
‘‘They’re all young families and come from Melton, Sunbury, Kyneton, Bendigo and Heathcote.
‘‘The money the promotions group has spent so far is working, and these families will help improve tourism through word of mouth to their friends and family.
‘‘These are also visitors who will go out and support other local businesses, too.’’
Edward River Council manager economic and business development John Harvie said a new version of the TV commercial is currently airing on the Nine Network, specifically boasting the chance to ‘‘ski, wake, kayak and float on the beautiful Edward River’’.
He said the results seen by McLean Beach add to positive feedback being provided about the commercials, with studies now being undertaken to determine physical and digital visitation overall as a result of the campaign.
‘‘I am personally getting comments, as are the volunteers at the visitor centre, that people have seen and enjoyed the ads,’’ Mr Harvie said.
‘‘I had one call from someone who usually holidays in Cobram with a large group, and their discussions over the holiday period were around our ad and how it made them want to come here.
‘‘The campaign was well thought out — we didn’t rush into it — and we consulted significantly with the Tilma Group and Destinations New South Wales.
Mr Harvie said the next stage of the campaign is to populate social media with local promotional videos, with four YouTube videos highlighting local attractions awaiting approval to be aired.
He said seven local businesses are also creating their own television commercials to be aired at Melbourne’s Moomba Festival, as part of a partnership council has forged with the famed event.