16 June 2008

Baz Lurhmann tipped to bring Australian tourism back to life

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Tourism Minister Martin Ferguson announced plans on Saturday June 14 for a major tourism campaign to coincide with the release of Baz Lurhman’s new film, 'Australia'.

The Minister will spearhead a comprehensive global marketing campaign in an attempt to revive the tourism industry in Australia.  States and territories have jumped on board, not wishing to miss the far-reaching opportunities that Lurhman’s film is hoped to create. 

The campaign will involve fact sheets, location guides, imagery and maps, according to News.com.  The Federal Government is directing their campaign at the United Kingdom, United States, France, Italy, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand; their biggest tourism markets.

When Ferguson announced his plans to market Australia in the expected blazing trail of the film, the Tasmanian Minister for Economic Development and Tourism Paula Wreidt promised a close working relationship between Tourism Tasmania and Tourism Australia.  In her press release, she acknowledged the importance of the film for the state, because "with the world re-focused on Australia, we see great opportunities for showcasing Tasmania’s special places and activities with an obvious fit with some of the key themes of the movie."

The ABC News claims the Western Australian Government has also pledged a AUD$1 million marketing campaign to coincide with the film’s release, as they are aware of the “once in a lifetime opportunity” to promote the state.

Kiwi director Peter Jackson and his Lord of the Rings series is said to have increased the number of international visitors to New Zealand by 22 per cent.  It is hoped that Lurhman’s blockbuster will have the same effect for visitors to Australia

"Tourism Australia will put in place global and country-specific activities designed to motivate people who see the movie, to then visit our country," said Ferguson.  "It will bring to life little-known aspects of Australia’s extraordinary natural environment, history and Indigenous culture."

The film, starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman, is set in the Northern Territory and Western Australia during World War II.  It will be showing in around 70 countries from November 13, and according to Ms Wreidt, will have a potential audience of tens of millions around the world. 

Next year, another Australian marketing campaign will take off in the UK.  Former PM Paul Keating and pop-star Kylie Minogue are said to be amongst the list of Australian icons who will participate in the promotion of Australian tourism, says the Daily Telegraph.  Tourism Australia is also looking for involvement from Elle Macpherson, Natalie Imbruglia, and Jason Donovan.  Previously, Mel Gibson, Nicole Kidman and Cate Blanchett featured in a successful tourism campaign in the US. 

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