By Jill Innamorati-Varley with Ian Neubauer
The notion that Australia has the power to invigorate business travellers lies at the heart of publicity generated by the release of Baz Luhrmann’s Australia, according to Tourism Australia (TA) general manager, Geoff Buckley.
“The notion that this country and its people have the power to ‘transform and inspire’ is at the very heart of the message we have been promoting about Australia as a place for meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions,” Buckley said at a pre-release screening in Sydney on Monday (November 24).
A boab tree appears in this ad for Tourism Australia
Buckley added that 100 million people had already been exposed to publicity on Australia as a destination prior to the film’s global release this week.
He said it would put the nation in a better position to counter the global economic slowdown as the “magic” of the film compels travellers to come to Australia.
“Our primary focus is to harness the excitement about Australia, generated by the movie publicity and promotions, and to create a sense of urgency to visit now,” he said.
“Through our marketing efforts we hope that as people get caught up in the romance and adventure of the movie, they will fall in love with the idea of holidaying in Australia.”
However, film critics have described director Luhrmann’s latest epic as cliché-ridden and questioned whether it contains sufficient original content to become a movie classic.
Industry analysts are also doubting whether the film — and TA’s associated $50 million advertising campaign — can rescue the troubled tourism industry, and are instead calling for infrastructure investments and tax breaks from Government.
A replica of the boab tree that features in the film and symbolises people coming together was hung in the foyer of the Opera House, hung with glittering lanterns for added effect.
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