Canberrans are being asked to dig a little deeper in a campaign that puts the spotlight on communities hardest hit by the summer’s devastating bushfires.
The Treasure Trail campaign by Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council will encourage Canberrans to discover the many gems in regional towns along the Kings Highway. It aims to drive increased traffic to Bungendore, Braidwood and neighbouring villages like Nerriga and Captains Flat by asking people to ‘linger a little longer’ on their journey or consider a day trip or short break.
Mayor Tim Overall said that while recovery efforts ramp up to assist coastal towns directly impacted by the fires, the gateway villages between Canberra and the South Coast are still reeling from lengthy road closures during the critical holiday season.
“The impact of the fires and the closure of the Kings Highway on our regional towns have been significant, but we now have an opportunity to help our neighbours recover.
“This campaign will help us shine a light on the many experiences on offer in the region and I’m confident it will be an important motivator for people to visit and support the recovery,” Cr Overall said.
The Treasure Trail campaign was officially launched on Thursday (5 March) in Bungendore and will be rolled out across television, print, radio and digital channels with support from Canberra-based marketing agency Coordinate and social media influencers.
A number of local influencers have joined the campaign to share their gems on social media using the hashtag #foundmytreasure, with visitors being asked to do the same.
Coordinate director Warren Apps said the campaign has been designed to provide long-term support to communities.
“The opportunity here extends well beyond a recovery campaign,” he said.
“Canberrans think they know these towns pretty well. They’ve been a regular pit stop on trips to the coast for as long as any of us can remember, but when you look a little deeper you find a collection of villages that are bursting with great food, unique shopping, art, history, natural beauty and welcoming people.
“The opportunity here is more long-term – to reframe the way people think about these villages by building that level of awareness about what’s on offer and encouraging people to seek out a new experience,” Mr Apps said.
Mayor Overall said he was confident the new campaign would leverage the goodwill in the community.
“We know there is enormous goodwill in the community and that’s been demonstrated through the way this campaign has come together.
“On behalf of Council, I want to sincerely thank the marketing agencies, media outlets and community members who have all donated their time and services to get this off the ground,” Mayor Overall said.
The Treasure Trail campaign is the first phase of building awareness of the range of experiences on offer in the region.
The campaign will then shift up a gear in April with a month-long treasure hunt that encourages visitors to shop and spend locally for a chance to win a weekend at the stunning Mona Farm in Braidwood.