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Tourism Australia launches new 'walkabout' ad -

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Tourism Australia launches new 'walkabout' ad

The World Today - Wednesday, 8 October , 2008 12:53:00

Reporter: Jennifer Macey

TANYA NOLAN: The falling Aussie dollar may be an incentive for overseas tourists, but the Federal
Government has unveiled another lure to get them here.

A new ad campaign is urging tourists to go walkabout and lose themselves in Australia.

The Federal Tourism Minister Martin Ferguson launched the $40-million campaign, replete with images
of prawns on the barbie, the Sydney Opera House and Uluru.

It also includes two mini-movies directed by Baz Luhrmann to coincide with his new feature film
"Australia".

Jennifer Macey reports.

(Extract from tourism campaign)

JENNIFER MACEY: Tourism Australia is looking for a bright side to the world's current economic
woes.

Its new advertising campaign features an overworked New York power couple, who find themselves by
going walkabout in Australia.

The Executive General Manager of Marketing for Tourism Australia Nick Baker says it's a highly
emotive campaign.

NICK BAKER: Look, this campaign is different, it's actually about our visitors, it's about what's
in it for them that end benefit if you like of an Australian holiday. We've really shifted the
focus from what Australia gives to what the visitor gets from an Australian holiday.

We think it's viable in these current times when our potential visitors, as the Minister said, are
facing tough times that we really appeal to heart not just the head.

We think it will remind people why holidays are important, and that an Australian holiday will give
them an experience that will change them and change their lives.

JENNIFER MACEY: Stress relief aside there's also the money, in particular Australia's falling
dollar.

A weaker dollar makes it cheaper for overseas tourists to spend their money here.

On the other hand, financial worries can have everyone tightening the belt.

Federal Tourism Minister Martin Ferguson acknowledges that it's a tough time for the tourism
industry.

MARTIN FERGUSON: It's very important that we actually get back into the market with a new approach
because in recent times it's been a very tough global tourism market, and Australia's done it
pretty hard, we've got the tyranny of distance, the price of oil, the strength of the Australian
dollar, and now we've got a softening of the global economic market so we've got to be in it to win
it.

And this is a unique opportunity to use the film "Australia" to actually promote the unique,
wonderful, beautiful country Australia, and we're going to give it our best shot.

JENNIFER MACEY: The transformative walkabout is a central theme in the $40-million campaign with
television and cinema ads and a host of print variations featuring iconic images from all states
and territories.

Director Baz Luhrmann, soon to release his epic "Australia" is behind the filmed versions, and he's
used one of his cast, young aboriginal actor, Brandon Walters, in the commercial.

Tourism Australia's Nick Baker says the ads will benefit from the publicity wave surrounding the
release of the film later this year

NICK BAKER: We know people are going to get exposed to Australia and the Australian story through
that process, irrespective of whether they go and see the film. So there's sort of two components
to that whole PR message.

And for us there was a logic about trying to identify a more specific message which was not about
seeing the film but what Australia offers, that was the two prong strategy if you like, and that
helps in a risk sense as well, if the film is not hugely, hugely successful, although we kind of
think it will be, then this stands alone.

And the whole idea was to create a mini-film if you like that stood alone, told a story about why
Australia is special as a holiday destination.

JENNIFER MACEY: it's not just foreign tourists the campaign is hoping to encourage to travel in
Australia.

The Managing Director of the Tourism and Transport Forum says locals should also holiday at home.

CHRIS BROWN: Globally it's very difficult to get international people in the current climate to go
anywhere for a holiday and it's tough to keep Australian's at home, because we're going off-shore
in record numbers. So here's a movie and a campaign that should play to both a local and an
international audience, remind them about the transformative benefit of Australia, not just a
holiday - but an experience.

(Sound from tourism campaign commercial)

TANYA NOLAN: Jennifer Macey compiled that report.