● The #RoadTripPledge is Australia's feel-good movement – a powerful promise, backed by Stayz, launching on June 23 as a reminder to help support regional Australia after the negative impact of Summer bushfires and COVID-19 travel bans
● Famous Australians Edwina Bartholomew, Natalie Bassingthwaighte, Cameron Daddo and Alison Brahe, Jamie Durie, Adam Liaw, Benji and Zoe Marshall, Catriona Rowntree, Tom Williams and Dr Katrina Warren and their families are some of the first to take the #RoadTripPledge and encourage others to holiday here this year in Australia
● Leading children's psychologist Dr Michael Carr-Gregg is also on-board, offering advice to families on how to involve their kids in the pledge, address social changes and he shares insights on how to reconnect as a family in 2020
● Stayz is offering, for a limited time, $100 VISA gift cards which can be used in impacted regional towns. We are asking our travellers to take the #RoadTripPledge, make a booking for over $1000 at a great Aussie destination and claim their gift card*. Available for the first 1000 bookings in Australia, this puts $100,000 in the back pocket of communities that need it most*
SYDNEY: The #RoadTripPledge is an Australian regeneration promise, created by online holiday rental website Stayz. It draws our attention back to the needs of regional Australia, both directly and indirectly impacted by the summer bushfires, and more recently the COVID-19 imposed travel bans. This pledge is for families, to help them process and understand recent major Australian bushfires and health issues, and offers a way to take positive action together to revive the economy.
A number of household Aussie names have joined the campaign, with Edwina Bartholomew, Natalie Bassingthwaighte, Cameron Daddo and Alison Brahe, Jamie Durie, Adam Liaw, Benji and Zoe Marshall, Cartiona Rowntree, Tom Williams and Dr. Katrina Warren, some of the first to make the pledge. Each has made their own promise to travel locally with their families across 2020 by road as a genuine way to give back to recovering regions and tourism.
The campaign was created by Stayz as a response to the devastating bushfires over the Australian Summer when thousands of properties, businesses and people were affected by bushfire and drought. Just as recovery was underway, COVID-19 left regional towns further isolated. With travel now taking off again in many places across the country, the #RoadTripPledge message is simple: Focus on reconnecting Australian families with these impacted areas, encouraging Australians to make a simple promise to take on new adventures and hit the road to rebuild tourism.
As a reminder of the incredible power of regeneration.
I stand with regional Australian towns.
I vow to explore impacted places by road.
To spend generously in towns of all sizes.
To always ask locals "are you okay".
To value moments of connection with the people I love.
And find a renewed sense of adventure together.
Even when the headlines have stopped, and the social media has ceased.
We will not forget the reason why we made our #RoadTripPledge.
Stayz gift card promotion to encourage regional spending
As part of the campaign kick-off, Stayz has also launched a promotion whereby people who take the #RoadTripPledge - and are one of the first 1000 bookings (for over $1000) made at Stayz.com.au - will be eligible to claim and receive a $100 VISA gift card* which can be used in the regional holiday destination, injecting much needed money back into small businesses that need it most.
"We are extremely proud, even during hard global times, to launch the #RoadTripPledge this month in support of regional tourism and ensuring this is remembered across 2020," says Simone Scoppa, Travel Expert for Stayz.
"We have seen since travel restrictions have eased in Australia, that the demand to stay in a holiday home has increased significantly, where people are wanting to stay in a spacious whole home with their family and friends but away from other people. Stayz has always been committed to driving tourism in regional Australia but this year more than ever it is so much more important."
Famous faces and experts weigh in on the need for the pledge
New mum, Edwina Bartholomew, remarked it was "an unusual summer of highs and lows," as she welcomed her first child. "It was hard to watch it all happen at a distance. It was both a beautiful time in our lives and a sad time for Australia with bushfires then COVID-19. I have been lucky to visit so many beautiful parts of Australia through my work and now is the time to return to those places as a family. We took the pledge, knowing that in doing so, we are helping to get businesses get back off the ground and small towns humming again."
Family expert and child psychologist, Dr Michael Carr-Gregg agrees. "2020 hasn't turned out to be the new decade and chapter we were all expecting. From the impact of the bushfires that led to a lost summer syndrome for so many families, to the recent health crisis that has impacted the way we socialise, greet people and holiday, it has been trying and life changing times. While we must still be careful and diligent, we need to also remember that connecting, exploring and spending time together as a family unit is now more important than ever, and doing this locally by road a safe option."
"Travel will also have a positive impact on our kids' minds and education. From the outset parents can give them a new sense of responsibility that they might not have on a daily basis by getting them involved in the planning of the trip and then letting them be in charge of packing for themselves. Visiting regional towns presents the opportunity for children to learn about their history, indigenous culture, nature and wildlife, inspiring curiosity beyond what they may learn in the classroom."
Dr. Michael Carr-Gregg has created a tool kit on how to reconnect through a road trip and speak to your children about the recent challenging topics of the year. This tool kit can be found online here: www.roadtrippledge.com.au
Holiday home owners hit hard but optimistic about the future
As a regional tourism expert, Stayz has spent significant time with property owners whose families were impacted by the fires in key regional areas and more recently, the double impact of COVID-19. One such owner Karen Beeston has spent her entire life in the Kangaroo Valley, NSW, in her family home built by her grandmother and grandfather. It has four generations of memories and nostalgia which she now opens up to other families for long weekends and mid-week escapes to get out of Sydney and "re-set".
Karen, 62, stayed alone in the house with only her wolf-hound dog companion, Mosley, to fight the fires in January 2020 to save her family home and the memories it holds. "The fires got close but didn't impact the property thanks to a last minute wind direction change, however the sense that it hasn't been safe to travel into regional Australia has left the property bare for months on end, then followed by COVID-19 which did mean people couldn't travel – all local businesses have been impacted with so many families affected. The #RoadTripPledge means so much to us to see tourists come back and have a holiday in our town."
In these challenging times, the #RoadTripPledge shines a light on something we can be hopeful about together. To join families and businesses taking the pledge around the country, go to www.roadtrippledge.com.au.