This research project investigates how communication design can improve COVID-19's domestic tourism downturn in Australia. Many countries have halted some or all international travel since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Australian tourism environment has also been greatly affected. International Travel for Australians likely will not return until 2024, and the domestic market has also suffered a strong impact. As a designer, I seek new breakthroughs to promote domestic travel in Australia and help accelerate economic development and cultural dissemination.
This investigation has been conducted through my design practice, and more specifically within that, an illustration practice. I’ve chosen illustration because it’s been an area which until 9 months ago, I had very little experience in, and is an area in which I want to take my future practice.
Several changes have occurred throughout the project in response to the global pandemic. With borders still closed, my initial desire to explore illustration to support international tourism was not realistic. Instead, I turned towards local tourism through the design of a passport booklet and stamps for Phillip Island (an important destination in Victoria), encouraging Australians to visit the region and collect their visitor stamps. The critical elements of this final solution, as I will discuss, have been the development and refinement of the passport book strategy as well as the design of the book and the illustrations to make it appeal to visitors and make something that people will want to collect.
The results of this project, as I will discuss, have been the development of a compelling design proposition to encourage local tourism, but also critical development in my communication design practice focusing on two main elements: design strategy and illustration practice.