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Holiday hack: How to win $9k while giving back

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Sea Cliff Bridge. Image: Supplied
Sea Cliff Bridge. Image: Supplied

Raj Ray has had one hell of a year.

The owner of NSW winery Silos Estate started 2020 with bushfires which saw the Shoalhaven estate transformed into an evacuation centre.

Soon after, the winery suffered a once-in-20-years flood. Then, a global pandemic ripped through domestic and international tourism and the winery began selling hand sanitiser.

“The first thing I want to do [in 2021] is give a product review for 2020. I wouldn’t recommend it. I’d give it one star,” Ray told Yahoo Finance.

But he’s optimistic: there’s a renewed sense of community and a nationwide feeling of gratitude that Australia is where it’s at, and that it’s possible to have a glass of wine in the sun with friends.

“There isn’t a time where I don’t skip out of bed and think, ‘How lucky are we to be having the life that we do’, and that’s the discussion that I have with all of our visitors, and everybody feels the same,” he said.

“That gives a sense of forgiveness from people, because it’s unusual to go from a time where you’re able to just turn up and [get a table], to having to book.”

For Ray, 2020 has been about looking after people, whether it’s by making hand sanitiser, providing evacuation services or simply making sure they’re having a good time.

A challenging year

Silos Estate. Image: Supplied
Silos Estate. Image: Supplied

Silos Estate is just one of thousands of small businesses across NSW and Australia that have been dented by a horrific 12 months.

Tripadvisor data shows that while hotel bookings for January and February were generally on par with 2019, during lockdown they hit rock bottom.

And while optimism began to return in April, it took until October for demand for domestic hotels to really increase.

By November, however, domestic hotels demand surpassed its 2019 volume.

“From the bushfires this year to the onset of the pandemic, there has been a profound impact on travel and tourism this year,” Tripadvisor APAC head of destination marketing Sarah Mathews told Yahoo Finance.

“Despite Covid-19 concerns, almost two thirds - 65 percent - of Australians are still thinking about travel and where they want to go next.”

She said recent surveys show nearly two-thirds of travellers want to head somewhere off the beaten track, while 71 per cent of Aussie holiday-makers want to go to destinations where they can support local businesses and communities.

“It is heartening to see that travellers are so keen to head out this year and doing so safely and sustainably through weekend getaways and road trips.”

How to win your own $9,000 holiday in 25 words

A kangaroo road sign on an Australian rural road.
Image: Getty

To celebrate the return of travel, Tesla, Visit NSW and Tripadvisor are giving away one $9,000 curated road trip including accommodation for four people and the use of a Tesla Model 3 as part of the Love NSW campaign.

The campaign is designed to return travellers to the roads in a safe and sustainable way, and inject some much-needed dollars into NSW’s regional economies.

The winner’s experience expenses will also be covered by Tripadvisor, while contest partner and restaurant booking platform TheFork will chip in to cover meals.

To go in the running to win, imaginative travellers need to enter the competition here and select their dream NSW road trip and explain why that’s their ideal trip in 25 words or less.

Along the journey, they’ll have access to Tesla’s charging network which has 245 Destination Charging locations, like Silos Estate, and 16 Supercharger locations.

“There are so many incredible towns to visit across NSW, and a road trip is the perfect way to fully immerse yourself in our regions and support businesses by staying and spending locally,” NSW Tourism Minister Stuart Ayres said.

The competition closes on 23 December and the winner will be announced in January 2021.

Sustainable travel the future of holidays

Tripadvisor said its partnership with Tesla reflects changing travel trends.

“Our data shows that sustainable travel is a key travel interest area for the season ahead and we want to show our travellers how to do so in a meaningful way,” Mathews said.

Tesla’s Model 3 is the world’s first mass-market electric vehicle and is a major step on Tesla’s journey to transition the world to sustainable energy, Tripadvisor said.

Mathews said Tripadvisor wants travellers to be conscious of the impact of their holidays on the environment, and to think about starting small. This is reflected among travellers themselves: around 77 per cent of travellers told the travel platform that making more eco-friendly choices made them feel more positive about their road trip.

“Simple actions could include reducing waste, respecting nature, or even supporting local businesses that source produce locally, small steps can go a long way in ensuring that they travel sustainably,” she said.

Local gems

Berry, NSW, Australia-June 9, 2019: People enjoying the long weekend in the small historic country town of Berry, best known for award-winning restaurants, sophisticated shopping and wineries
People enjoying the long weekend in the small historic country town of Berry. Image: Getty

To get travellers in the mood for a holiday, Tripadvisor and Tesla have curated a series of road trips and articles with recommendations for travellers keen to head out to must-visit NSW destinations.

These include a scenic drive through the Snowy Mountains, a wellness road trip through northern NSW’s rainforests, and an adventure along southern NSW’s Grand Pacific Drive and through the Shoalhaven region, which Yahoo Finance experienced first-hand in a loaned Model 3 Tesla.

The suggested road trips also highlight businesses that travellers may like to visit. Yahoo Finance visited North Wollongong’s Italian restaurant by the sea Northbeach Pavilion, drove along the Sea Cliff Bridge and visited the picturesque town of Berry.

Places of cultural interest like Wollongong’s Nan Tien Temple, are also highlighted along with “hidden gems” like Silos Estate, which also boasts sustainable production practices and complimentary Tesla Supercharger stations for visitors using electric vehicles.

Ayres said the campaign highlights the work of the NSW government to support the state’s visitor economy and called on travellers to head out.

“The NSW Government is committed to helping communities that rely on tourism get back on their feet through strategic, high-impact activities such as this Tripadvisor partnership that inspire domestic travellers to take a COVID-safe holiday in NSW,” Ayres said.

Want to hear Australian influencers reveal their best finance tips? Join the Broke Millennials Club on Facebook, and receive one hot tip per day in December.
And if you want 2021 to be your best (financial) year yet, follow Yahoo Finance on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter. Subscribe to the free Fully Briefed daily newsletter here.

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