21 January 2011

Screening of Oprah Down Under gives Australian tourism boom

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The screening of talk-show queen Oprah Winfrey’s Down Under special has seen an increase in holiday bookings.

ETA Visa

The Oprah Down Under special is expected to increase the number of international tourists to Australia.

The program, taped last month around the country, was Australia's most watched show on Wednesday night with an average audience of 1.82 million viewers. The show also aired a few hours earlier in the US and reportedly drew more than 10 million viewers.

Final US ratings wouldn't be known until next month as The Oprah Winfrey Show was syndicated to 215 domestic channels and so far the first episode had aired on only 56.

Tourism Australia has already called the program a success, saying one Houston travel agent had reported taking holiday bookings within 30 minutes of it going to air.

Others received hundreds more visitors to their websites and the daily traffic to Tourism Australia's website, Australia.com, nearly doubled.

Tourism Australia's executive general manager of marketing, Nick Baker, said: “We believe it's doing its job and has started to inspire people. The content was lovely. A very genuine and heartfelt feeling from Oprah came out; you can see it wasn't false. And the country showed itself off beautifully."

There are three more episodes in the Down Under Special to air.

All international tourists to Australia, unless they have an Australian or New Zealand passport, must have an Australian Travel Visa. The most popular of these is the ETA Visa, which allows the holder to enter Australia for up to three months for tourism purposes.


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