What is worth travelling for?

By Country News

New insights into domestic travel commissioned by leading online travel site Wotif reveal that while domestic tourism is on the rise, few Aussies have explored beyond places they already know, leaving much of the country undiscovered.

The study shows that on average Australians have visited fewer than one per cent of the 15268 towns, cities and suburbs that dot the country — and that most Aussies (53per cent) can only name up to nine regional destinations across Australia.

Because of this, nearly a quarter (24 per cent) of all Aussies and 36 per cent of those aged 25 to 34 years admit to feeling embarrassed about how few Australian locations they have been to.

With a smorgasbord of destinations on offer across Australia, Wotif announced its latest initiative to encourage Aussies to take the off ramp and spend more time discovering destinations beyond their tried and tested favourites.

In a call to arms and celebration of what makes Australia great, the search is on to find towns, cities and suburbs that have something they’d like to be famous for, with Wotif set to gift a deserving Aussie location a new festival in honour of said ‘thing’.

Known as the ‘Festival of Wot?’, the countrywide initiative will shine a high-beam on domestic tourism and is set to encourage more Aussies to get out of the fast lane and explore the people and places that make up this great nation.

Following the success of Australia’s Next Big Thing, where Wotif gifted the Queensland town of Chinchilla, The Big Melon, Wotif is encouraging Aussies to get behind this brand-new nationwide search.

‘‘Last year’s Next Big Thing initiative reminded us how incredible Australia is,’’ Wotif managing director Daniel Finch said.

‘‘This year we’re asking towns, suburbs and cities to tell us what they should be famous for — and we’ll do our magic to make it so.

‘‘We’re putting on an entire festival for one winning destination, completely dedicated to celebrating their unique claim to fame and the community around it.

‘‘Australia’s most memorable festivals are centred on celebrating a particular pastime or passion, and for many locations across the country festivals encourage a tremendous sense of community spirit.

‘‘In creating ‘The Festival of Wot?’, our intention is to help celebrate some of the unique stories and characters from around the country to create an experience that locals love and is worth travelling for.’’

‘The Festival of Wot?’ nominations are open to the public until August 18.

Four shortlisted festivals will then be announced and the public will vote for the finalist they want to win.

Visit for full competition details and to submit your festival idea.