Driving tourism pitch crazy
I wonder about the sanity of some people who try to sell WA to the rest of the world. The latest effort is a new campaign to sell us as the “Road Trip State”.
The group which this campaign allegedly targets is backpackers on working holidays to whom Tourism Minister Paul Papalia refers to in glowing terms.
According to the $2.2 million ad campaign, every route is scenic and tourists can “turn right at delicious or a sharp left at breathtaking”. Wow! The 58sec. advertisement ends with the slogan, “Just another day in WA”.
Sounds marvellous but this commercial is downright misleading given the vast distances which have to be covered to drive anywhere in this beautiful State of ours.
Already some people involved in the tourist industry have voiced concern over the safety aspect of encouraging drivers from foreign countries, who generally drive on the other side of the road to us, being let loose on our roads where, in some areas of the Kimberly and Pilbara they will be competing with road trains up to 53.5m in length.
Mr Papalia may not be aware that backpackers already traverse much of Australia in hired campers and they are given itineraries which in some cases are unrealistic and even dangerous, given the distances they are encouraged to drive to see all that they want to see.
Backpackers already have a network operating on the internet where information is passed around including how they can obtain free camping in national parks or how to avoid paying up and other nefarious practices.
That they are on working holidays should offer a clue that they do not bring a lot of currency into the country and that is one of the reasons they seek casual work. So Mr Papalia, if this is the demographic that you are targeting, then you are on a hiding to nothing. I cannot for the life of me see why any government should be tempting fate by encouraging drivers from foreign lands. Sending them out to the remote areas is downright criminal in my view.
Last year a road train driver began a campaign to educate Australian grey nomads on the conventions needed to safely drive on outback roads so that they didn’t kill or get killed when trying to pass road trains. Mr Papalia in his wisdom is quoted as saying he was not worried about foreign visitors on regional roads.