Scott Hillier agrees to front Hinchinbrook Shire marketing campaign to boost tourism
Fishing icon Scott Hillier is set to promote the Hinchinbrook Shire as part of an innovative marketing campaign that aims to increase visitation to the district in 2020.
Cameron Bates, The Herbert River | January 21, 2020
Fishing icon Scott Hillier is set to promote the Hinchinbrook Shire as part of an innovative marketing campaign that aims to increase visitation to the district over the cooler, winter months in 2020. At the Hinchinbrook Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Tourism’s February general meeting, members voted to pursue the bold marketing project – funded by Hinchinbrook Shire Council – in a bid to showcase the shire and its businesses to the regional drive market. The initial budget is $10,000 but will allow local businesses to buy into the marketing drive. Campaign spokesperson, Scott Hillier of Creek to Coast fame, said he offered his services at a significantly reduced rate because the shire “holds a really special place in my heart”. “I raised my family in Ingham … so for me to come back and promote the area that I owe a lot to is a no-brainer,” Mr Hiller said.
Mr Hillier lived in Ingham, where one of his children was born, for 15 years and was proud to have taken “every opportunity” over his career to promote the area “To be asked to come back and do it again, no drama, very, very honoured,” he said. When comparing Hinchinbrook businesses to businesses in the big cities, Mr Hillier said that quality interactions, good conversation and often dealing with owners as opposed to floor staff were the points of difference that he appreciated. “I’ve always said that people in the country, people in Ingham, are just lovely people … you’re not just a number, you’re a person,” he said.
Mr Hillier also indicated that he would “love to” squeeze in a fishing trip or two while his was in the area for filming in the coming months. “Being the barramundi season there is every chance I just could hang around for a day or two and try to catch myself a barra, and that’s the beauty of the area, on any given day I could catch a barra in the morning and then be out on the reef catching a coral trout in the afternoon.”
Chamber President Rachael Coco said that the project was “an exceptional opportunity for local businesses to be part of” and that she was looking forward to executing the campaign. “When developing the project, we were mindful of the fact that many small businesses find marketing a little daunting and that advertising costs can sometimes be prohibitive,” Ms Coco said. “This project will allow local businesses to buy into a large campaign at a heavily subsidised rate, giving them better reach and appeal by taking a collaborative approach to marketing,” she said. “Hinchinbrook businesses owners are often as passionate about promoting the shire as they are about advertising their own products and services, so this campaign will be especially appealing and is ideal for anyone in the retail, hospitality and tourism industries.”
Ms Coco said that Mr Hillier was the perfect spokesperson and that the shire was “lucky to have him as an ambassador” but noted that the project was only coming to fruition thanks to the Hinchinbrook Shire Council. “This project is the epitome of collaboration and relies on the support and engagement of businesses, chamber and the council,” she said. “Without council funding this opportunity wouldn’t exist, so a massive shout out definitely has to go their way.”