A large percentage of sailing sponsorship, especially for major events, comes from tourism authorities. In most cases, the campaigns are pretty unsophisticated – a bit of branding on the spinnaker to increase awareness, but not a lot of activation. Events like the Volvo Ocean Race stopover in Galway have shown that people will travel to see yacht racing and buy hotel room nights and spend money to boost the local economy, however these marine tourists usually have to make their own arrangements.
It’s interesting then to see the new campaign from Queensland, Australia. The state of Queensland does tourism promotion as well as anyone else in the world. It helps that they have some great attractions, like the Great Barrier Reef, world heritage rainforest and stunning beaches, but we like the way the new ‘Season of Sailing’ joins the dots between sailing, specifically yacht racing and productised packages for tourists.
There is a microsite (www.queenslandholidays.com.au/sailing) which understands that not all tourists to Queensland are looking for theme parks and the skyscrapers of Surfers Paradise and actually supports event organisers by making it easier for visitors to attend sailing events.
The site of course positions the charter, cruising travel products that are usually the focus of sailing travel promotions, but it also highlights racing as a key part of sailing. The promotional material includes:
Choose from a range of charter boat experiences from catamarans to racing yachts; day sail options including reef and sunset cruises; or sail and stay packages that include accommodation at some of Queensland’s best tropical island resorts and beachfront apartments.
The Hamilton Island Race Week Package, for example, allows people to book with Prosail onboard one of their famous maxi yachts, live onboard the yacht berthed in Hamilton Island, enjoy the festival atmosphere by night and join in the race event by day.
This isn’t some local promoter or travel agent, capitalising on this valuable market, it is the central tourism authority.
Individual race events for Queensland’s Season of Sailing include:
- Brisbane to Keppel – August 6-10
- Airlie Race Week August 12-19
- Hamilton Island Race Week – August 20-28
- Magnetic Island Race Week – September 3-7
More Tourism News….