Port Macquarie-Hastings Council has launched a bold new advertising campaign to market the region as a better holiday option than other destinations along the coast.
The advertising blitz features marketing slogans such as 'It's like the Gold Coast, but instead of tacky theme parks' and 'It's like Byron, but without the overpriced hotels'.
At least 60 advertisements began running from June 11 on Greater Port Macquarie's social media platforms and other channels to direct potential tourists to 'try another kind of break' in Port Macquarie.
Around $88,000 is invested in the project and it is scheduled to finish at the end of August.
Council's group manager for economic development and communications, strategy and growth, Liesa Davies, said the new approach was part of a winter advertisement campaign with consultation from the Greater Port Macquarie Tourism Association.
"One of the key challenges for us as a destination is that we are similar to a lot of other coastal destinations," Ms Davies said.
"In this we have focused on an approach that we are similar to many other destinations and then flagged our strengths.
"We acknowledge this is a bolder strategy than the approaches we have taken before.
"For us it was a conscious decision to standout from the crowd."
Ms Davies said they are monitoring local discussion about the campaign, which so far has achieved a mixed reaction.
"So far we have seen local conversation but it's early days," Ms Davies said.
"We can test which ones do and don't work, refining the campaign to get the best return on investment."
Ms Davies said the campaign is funded through a destination marketing budget and targeted for out of region tourists in Sydney, regional NSW and south-east Queensland.
The Port Macquarie-Hastings tourism industry is worth more than $490 million to the local economy and brings more than 1.6 million visitors to the region every year, according to council statistics.
Port Macquarie Chamber of Commerce executive officer Mark Wilson said it was good to see someone having a go.
"As far as the Chamber is concerned we are thrilled to see the council is spending money on promoting the area. That's good for business and all concerned in town," said Mr Wilson.
"It's great to see that somebody is trying something different and having a bit of a go.
"The campaign itself is obviously cheeky. I know that it's being monitored very closely from the reaction that it generates.
"I think business owners will be thrilled if it works."
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