19 March 2010

Famous friends to lure tourists to Australia

Famous Australians will be used in a online campaign by Tourism Australia to promote the country, with up to 80 video vignettes being uploaded onto the internet next week.

ETA Visa

Famous Australians will talk about their favourite holiday destinations in a new tourism campaign.

Testimonials from ''friends of Australia'' on their favourite holiday destinations will appear on social media sites such as Tourism Australia’s Facebook page and on its website Australia.com.

The prominent Australians include entrepreneur Dick Smith, Sarah-Jane Clarke and Heidi Middleton of fashion label Sass & Bide, the chef Matt Moran, the filmmaker Baz Luhrmann, the art dealer Tim Olsen and the opera singer Cheryl Barker.

It is hoped these testimonials will encourage overseas visitors to Australia by giving a more personal view of the country. All international visitors to Australia, unless they have an Australian or New Zealand passport, must have an Australian Visa to visit for tourism purposes. The ETA Visa is the most common visa for this purpose, as it is easily applied for online and once approved allows the holder to enter Australia multiple times for three months.

Tourism Australia's marketing director, Nick Baker, said the ''friends'' were from a broad a background as possible to ensure that they were ''talking to'' as many groups as possible.

''People do tend to feel more familiar with a place if it is being talked about by a friend or someone they admire,'' he said.
In time it hopes to recruit foreigners who are fans of Australia.

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

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