Make it Australia

26 Nov 2008

Viewing the latest Baz Luhrmann film Australia with box-office draws Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman (“Wolverine” to X-men junkies) will inspire more people to head Down Under. At least that’s what Tourism Australia (TA), which kicked off its “Transformation Tourism Campaign” in Hongkong yesterday, hopes will happen.

“In a way, this is a good time to visit the country. The Australian dollar has depreciated by 30 percent and airlines have been rolling out attractive deals to fill their flights. Things are more affordable,” said Johnny Nee, TA regional general manager for North Asia.

Tourism drumbeaters expect the sweeping epic by the award-winning director to achieve what Lord of the Rings did for New Zealand in terms of raising profile. Australia goes on worldwide release in December.

“We can not just sit here and wait for the market to come back. We have to demonstrate our commitment. Life still goes on. People still need a holiday,” Nee said, adding that the campaign hopes nudge overseas visitors to go beyond the capital cities of Australia into places such as Tasmania and the Northern Territories among others.

TA’s promotional efforts, which run until middle of 2009, are backed by a promotional budget of A$40-million (US$25.40-million) and by another A$10 million (US$6.3 million) from Australia’s executives.

For more details, visit

Gigi Onag

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