15-Dec-2010 10:59 AM

Australia has high hopes for tourism boom from Oprah visit

Australian Bureau of Statistics stated outbound travel from Australia now exceeds inbound arrivals by about 1.2 million p/a (Bloomberg/Dow Jones, 14-Dec-2010). A 20% appreciation in the Australian dollar against the US dollar is considered the biggest reason behind the decline in tourist arrivals. As a result, the Government has invested AUD3 million in Oprah Winfrey’s visit to the country, as part of plans to protect its AUD12.1 billion tourism industry. Qantas CEO Alan Joyce stated Oprah’s visit is “marketing gold”, while Tourism Minister Martin Ferguson stated he “firmly believe[s] this is taxpayers’ money well spent”.