YouTube viral video gives Melbourne edge over Sydney

YouTube viral video gives Melbourne edge over Sydney

Victoria’s “Play Melbourne” PR drive pays dividends to the tune of a cool million intrigued viewers

Double good news for Melbourne right after the Formula 1 circus hit town for the Australian Grand Prix -- not only has it has surged past Sydney on visitor numbers, but it has also spawned a YouTube viral sensation.

Credit goes to Victoria’s “Play Melbourne” campaign, which launched last year in a bid to raise the profile of Australia’s second city.

Aside from giving away free air tickets to Melbourne every week, the promo has also been running a quirky video highlighting what organizers see as the “fun” aspects of life there.

The flick shows a group of flighty young visitors racing through the city, finding delight and surprise in equal measure.

Lashings of fun

Backed by more than a million YouTube views, that’s something those pulling the strings clearly believe matters to incoming travelers.

"Melbourne is a creative, exciting, ever-changing city with surprises around every corner and down every laneway,” says Victoria's Minister for Tourism, Louise Asher.

“With so much to see and do throughout the year, there's no need to plan, just come and play."

Enthusiasm aside, we’d still recommend a spot of planning -- it helps on occasions like finding a place to lay your head, where to eat and matters of that ilk.

As for the visitor stats, the campaign appears to be having an effect domestically on the latest reckoning, with Melbourne 60,000 overnight visitors ahead of Sydney. That’s according to the well-respected Australian National Visitor Survey.

Apart from the F1 race, Melbourne also sees its annual Fashion Festival and Food and Wine Festival in March.

More on CNNGo: 50 reasons Melbourne is the world’s most livable city