Melbourne Airport is to launch a major outdoor advertising campaign next week to coincide with the opening of more domestic borders.
The initiative, called Now Is The Time, is a collaboration between Qantas, Jetstar, Virgin Australia and outdoor advertising space owners oOh! Media.
The move comes a day after Virgin announced it had recorded its largest day of sales since COVID and airlines raced to rebuild their networks following Queensland’s decision to reopen to Sydney and Victoria.
Melbourne said its campaign was the first of its kind to ever be launched by a major Australian airport.
Now Is The Time will run for 10 weeks and will feature domestic destinations such as Sydney, Byron Bay, Newcastle, Canberra and Tasmania.
Melbourne Airport’s chief of aviation, Shane O’Hare, said, “We surveyed more than 10,000 travellers across the country this year and it’s been really clear that while millions of Australians desperately need the ‘reset’ that comes with a holiday, the environment we’ve all been living in has made it really difficult for people to admit that they need one. But the impact of COVID on the nation’s tourism and hospitality sectors in particular, has been incredibly crippling.
“As we’ve started to see the Victorian second wave of COVID ease, and more borders opening up internally, we wanted to create a sense of calm around the idea that it’s not only OK to feel like you need a holiday – it’s also OK to go ahead and plan one.”
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk made the decision to open her state following Sydney going 28 days without any ‘community transmission’ of COVID – a milestone Victoria hit on Wednesday.
Premier Palaszczuk has repeatedly stated that she would only open her state up to areas that have recorded a month without so-called community transmission – that is cases of COVID where no source of the infection can be traced.
Those rules meant Queensland opened up to NSW on 10 July but closed to Sydney on 1 August and then to all of NSW and the ACT again a week later. Despite opening for a second time to the ACT on 25 September and NSW on 20 October, the city of Sydney was excluded.
The bizarre restrictions meant those from Sydney could potentially travel to Queensland but had to first spend 14 days outside the city. Travellers could also fly from Sydney Airport but couldn’t stop anywhere in the city en route.
Premier Palaszczuk said the decision was made after “extensive conversations” between her chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young, and NSW’s counterpart.
Queensland’s Deputy Premier, Steven Miles, called the announcement “a great day for Australia”.
The state still remains closed to SA, after its second smaller outbreak last week that saw the state enter a six-day ‘hard lockdown’.