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Interstate Market Drive Trails – Project Update

By December 20, 2021December 22nd, 2021Industry News & Updates

The ‘Interstate Market Drive Trails’ project aims to accelerate the region’s interstate market recovery as domestic travel returns in the coming months. The project has been designed by MRBTA in partnership with ASW, and has received funding from the Australian Government under the Recovery for Regional Tourism program, an initiative of the $1 billion COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Fund.

In what is predicted to be a fiercely competitive domestic travel environment, the region must take a holistic approach to attracting interstate travellers, and address their needs from the perspective of tourism product, right through to promotion and visitor servicing. Project activity focusses on three areas:

  1. Marketing campaign activity to ensure that this destination stands out as desirable above others.
  2. Training and development to ensure the best possible visitor experience and positive word of mouth.
  3. Digital marketing mentoring to ensure the region’s prominence in the competitive online landscape.


Drive Trails

Five self-drive trails provide the focus for the marketing, training and mentoring. The self-drive trails are based around the geographical areas of:

  1. Busselton
  2. Dunsborough/Yallingup
  3. Cowaramup/Gracetown/Metricup/Wilyabrup
  4. Margaret River
  5. Augusta

The Trails feature a selection of the region’s hero tourism product and breathtaking natural attractions.


Participating Businesses

Business participation has been determined through an EOI process which took place in September 2021 – with information and a project brochure published here.

Participation criteria includes the ability to dedicate up to 30 hours to participate in training, development and marketing activity, as well as the payment of a $500 industry contribution fee.

The development of the self-drive trails has been a collaborative effort, with two lots of consultation sessions taking place in Busselton, Dunsborough, Cowaramup, Margaret River and Augusta, in October and December 2021.

The following businesses have confirmed participation in the drive trails:

Brand and Marketing

The drive trails will be promoted under the regional destination brand, which was redeveloped in 2020/21, and consists of the overarching Margaret River Region brand as well as sub-brands associated with the anchorpoints of Busselton, Dunsborough, Margaret River and Augusta. The drive trail messaging will reflect the region’s Generous Nature brand story and visual identity, as well as the unique identities developed for the region’s town and City locations.

Messaging for each of the trails has been refined in collaboration with participating businesses. The marketing plan is currently being finalised and will roll out to coincide with the commencement of the Jetstar Melbourne-Busselton flight route in February 2022.


Business Training and Mentoring

The project is first and foremost a training and development initiative, with the following work underway:

  • 1-1 Interstate readiness mentoring: 7 businesses completed the program from August – December 2021. Up to a further 13 businesses will undertake mentoring during 2022.
  • 1-1 Digital marketing mentoring: 9 businesses are undertaking 1-1 training from December 2021 – March 2022. All businesses participating in the drive trails will receive group-based digital marketing training from February – May 2022.
  • Training & development group format: Training topics to be delivered to all MRBTA members in 2022 include sustainability, cultural awareness and experience design.