Pilbara people key to tourism gong

Taylar AmoniniNorth West Telegraph
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A Pilbara tourism campaign has taken the top gong for destination marketing at this year’s national awards.

The Australia’s North West Tourism digital campaign — Epic Pilbara People — won the 2018 Qantas Australian Tourism Awards gold medal for destination marketing.

The campaign highlighted local tourism operators and opportunities in the region, which featured local operators in videos, including Robin Pensini of Cheela Plains Station, Pete West of Flying Sandgroper Tours, Clinton Walker of Ngurrangga Tours and Marnie Shields of the Mackerel Islands, who racked up more than 710,000 views.

Chief executive Glen Chidlow said to receive national recognition for the campaign was an outstanding achievement and further helped to highlight the region as a must-see destination.

“The participants in the Epic Pilbara campaign each relay in their own words how they came to fall in love with this remote, stunning landscape,” he said. “The videos resonated with audiences as meeting people when travelling in the Pilbara is as much a part of the holiday experience as the incredible scenery you travel through.

“At a time when Tourism Australia has just launched a huge campaign in the US on the back of the Crocodile Dundee film and character, it’s important to remember that the Australian outback landscape and the people that call it home are a very attractive and unique tourism proposition.”

Mr Walker featured in the campaign where he showed what a tour entailed.

“I think (the campaign) wanted to show the sparseness and the sheer size of the Pilbara as well as the different things you can do within each region here from mine, which obviously focused on Aboriginal tours and the strong and long connection we have to the area, to our pretty pristine coastline,” he said.

“I had a few people mention the campaign to us and that they had seen me on various social media, which led them to our tours, so I definitely thought it had an effect and obviously winning gold means we’ll hope-fully get more tourists coming to the area.

“ I think now that we’ve had that campaign, now we need to ride off the back of it and all different parts of the Pilbara and all the different shires need to band together and push to encourage people to keep coming here and stay here longer.”

Tourism Minister Paul Papalia said it was a coup for WA to host the awards and win the most medals in the awards’ 30-year history.

“Our tourism sector is vital to the growth of our State and I continue to be impressed by the dedication and passion of the 27,000 businesses that make up the industry,” he said.

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