20 September 2010

Tourism Australia swamped by local mayors’ offers to host Oprah

Tourism Australia and state tourism bodies have been inundated with offers to host Oprah Winfrey and her 300-member American audience when they come to the country in December.

Local mayors have offered everything from the keys to the Gold Coast to some "Ipswich magic", with Rockhampton's Mayor Brad Carter even writing to Oprah offering a "real Aussie holiday" that takes in the Outback and the Barrier Reef.

It is understood that Tourism Australia has had dozens more offers to host the entourage.

Oprah and her 300 loyal fans will be flown to Australia later this year after Tourism Australia successfully lobbied to get the show to come Down Under.  The Oprah Show will record two episodes in Australia - the first time the program has been recorded outside the US.

It is estimated that the cost to Tourism Australia for the eight-day "Oprah's Ultimate Australian Adventure" will be about $4 million, but the return in tourism dollars is expected to worth hundreds of millions with more than 40 million people in the United States and millions more in 145 countries watching the episodes.

All tourists to Australia, unless they have an Australian or New Zealand passport, must have an Australian Travel Visa. The most popular of these visas is the ETA Visa as it can be quickly applied for online and is approved almost instantly.

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people lodge their Australian Visa application with the Australian High Commission

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