Mission Beach has long been known for its family oriented approach to tourism, which makes this latest advertising campaign something of an eyebrow raiser.
Based on roadside signs that read ‘Get High, Get Wet, Get Laid.’
This campaign uses a tongue in cheek approach to reach the younger backpacker market that gravitates to the far north of Queensland. The youth brigade tends to book their Mission Beach adventure activities in Cairns and make day trips to the area. Local Tourism operators are using this campaign to try to increase visitor nights to Mission Beach.
This campaign follows on from another somewhat controversial campaign of last year that was titled ‘Cairns – Great up top, Fun down under’ which used images of a young woman in a wet T-Shirt and slogans such as ‘Four Play’ and ‘Get high for breakfast’, which drew the attention of prime time TV talk show host and comic Rove McManus.
The campaign is the brainchild of three local operators, Scotty’s Beach House, Skydive Mission Beach and RnR White Water Rafting. According to Boyd Scott of Scotty’s Beach House, the campaign has really had its intended affect, "I've been in the backpacker industry for 22 years and from what I'm hearing they've (the signs) hit the mark," he said. "Backpackers have come in and told me it's hilarious.”
But Mission Beach Business and Tourism boss John Hill says he does not want "an Airlie Beach party town reputation" for his home town which he says also depends on a strong market in families and older couples. His concern is that the highway signs will unnecessarily scare off tourists.
Boyd Scott refutes this claim and says the new Mission Beach campaign is a light-hearted way to lure more backpackers south from Cairns.