Hollywood-based Australian beauty Isabel Lucas will star in a multi-million dollar tourism campaign showcasing Victoria as the nation’s premium indulgence and wellbeing destination.
The $7.3 million Daylesford – Lead a Double Life- campaign will kick off Sunday night on television screens around Australia.
In the TV advertisement, Lucas explores the dual attractions of the region by frolicking at a decadent soiree by night and recovering the next day with a stroll through the countryside and a dip in the natural mineral springs.
Tourism Minister Tim Holding said the state’s industry had held up better than anywhere else in the nation through the global financial crisis.
Last year, for the first time in decades, interstate tourists spent more money in Melbourne than Sydney, he said.
‘Melbourne has outstripped Sydney as the preferred destination for Australians,’ Mr Holding told reporters on Saturday.
‘But we can’t be complacent in what are the most extraordinarily difficult circumstances that our industry has seen.’
Hepburn Bathhouse and Spa general manager Kim Whitehouse said the bushfires, which were only two kilometres from the heart of Daylesford, along with the end of the summer school holidays period, saw a 40 per cent drop in visitors to the region during February.
‘We certainly felt the impact of the fires and Easter was a fantastic recovery time for us,’ she said.
Lucas, whom is also an environmental activist, is tipped to win a leading role in the remake of World War II film, Red Dawn.
She appeals to over 25s and the baby boomer market, Ms Whitehouse said.
‘She certainly appeals to young men who are booking a lot of the weekend escapes,’ she said.
Tourism Victoria chief executive Greg Hywood said other states have more outback, nature-based experiences but Victoria is compact and can offer more intimate, village experiences.
Baby boomers who are attracted to Melbourne for its romance and style are growing more interested in their health, Mr Hywood said.
‘So we are moving that market from Melbourne out into regional Victoria,’ he said.
The Run Rabbit Run campaign promoting the Yarra Valley, which began in 2004, led to an 18 per cent jump in visitors to the region in the first year.
Mr Hywood said he was confident the Daylesford campaign will see similar results.
Last year, the Daylesford and Macedon Ranges region attracted more than 1.7 million domestic visitors.