29 January 2009

Australia movie keeping the country's profile global

Tourism Australia has confirmed Australia's profile as an international tourist destination is continuing to reap its benefits because of the film 'Australia'.

Last week, Geoff Buckley, Tourism Australia managing director, said reports from international media and travel companies worldwide are showing a significant interest after the release of the campaign 'Come Walkabout' and the film 'Australia'.

"Whilst we are realistic that the global financial crisis will result in a decline in international visitors to Australia in 2009, we believe that by keeping Australia front of mind amongst consumers we can minimise the impact of the crisis this year and lay a foundation for a return to growth in 2010," he said in a statement.

More than 580 million people had seen coverage of Australia as a tourist destination because of Baz Lurhmann's film, which stars Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman, and more than 40 international media visits from publications has resulted in further exposure to the global market.

"These media have been sent to all parts of the country for a contemporary experience of the themes of our ‘Come Walkabout’ campaign and the film Australia all while helping to spread the word about how an Australian holiday can transform you, and now they’ve gone home to write about it.

"Even film critics who have never visited Australia have provided glowing endorsements for the country with one UK critic saying that after seeing the film they were tempted to visit their travel agent," Mr Buckley said.  "Robbie Collins in The News of The World told his paper’s readers, ‘You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and when you get home you’ll be straight online, looking for cheap deals to Sydney’."

Buckley is hoping the film's setting in the hot Australian outback would entice Europeans to escape what has been coined as the whitest winter on record in Europe – particularly in Spain, Sweden and Denmark where the film is still sitting at number one in the box office.

Most travellers to Australia – apart from New Zealanders - will need to apply for an Australian holiday visa to enter the country for tourism purposes.  For those from ETA eligible countries, the ETA visa is a simple, instantaneous holiday visa that allows people to holiday in Australia for up to three months.  For all others, an Australian travel visa is necessary for a holiday in Australia, which will allow the holder to travel in Australia for up to twelve months and study for up to three of those twelve months.

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with emigrating to Australia.

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