08 October 2008

Luhrmann and Tourism Australia launch "walkabout" campaign

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Tourism Australia and Baz Luhrmann, film-maker, have together officially launched a campaign to market Australia as the "must-visit destination" to the world. Their movie-style advertising campaign has focused on Australia’s unique adventure qualities: walkabout, release, joy, and self-reconnection.

Tourism Australia will be riding on the back of Baz Luhrmann’s new epic film Australia, which is due to be released later this year. 

"We knew that this huge film would create a wave of publicity that would put the country in the spotlight around the globe," Tourism Australia Managing Director Geoff Buckley said. "And we found that the film’s story had a remarkable resonance for what we do marketing the country as a travel destination."

Tourism Australia has launched a stand-alone tourism campaign that was designed with the help of Luhrmann and his team.  The campaign will be launched today in 22 markets around the world on print, online, television and cinemas.

Nick Baker, Executive General Manager Marketing for Tourism Australia, said the campaign is unique in that it does not provide stock-standard images of the natural wonders and bustling cities of Australia, but instead is cinematic in style with a storyline based on adventure, self-discovery and the term walkabout.

"We’ve made that core storyline into two short-film-like stories of contemporary people who are stressed and disconnected from their loved ones and their true selves, and who find their centre and their release in Australia," Mr Baker said.

The campaign embraces the Australian term "walkabout" as it encompasses what Tourism Australia believes is the country’s unique tourism selling point – "a time of release, joy, discovery and reconnection with our loved ones and our real selves".  It also enabled Tourism Australia to focus on Australia’s Indigenous culture and invite international visitors to Australia to celebrate and discover Australian Aboriginal culture.

Tourism Minister Martin Ferguson said, "Australia's tourism industry is currently facing a difficult period and this significant change in direction from Tourism Australia comes at a very important time…Baz Luhrmann has produced a campaign which Tourism Australia believes can convince people to holiday in Australia."

"This campaign will remind people why holidays are important; and that an Australian holiday will give them an experience that will change them and their lives," he added.

International visitors to Australia need an Australia travel visa, except for New Zealand passport holders.  Visitors wishing to travel the country can apply for a short-stay tourist visa, or ETA, which is valid for three months.  The conditions of the visa mean that tourists cannot work at any time during their stay in Australia.

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people apply for an Australia visa.

Article by Jessica Bird, Australian Visa Bureau.

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