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Outback NT showcased to the world



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THE HON. MARTIN FERGUSON MP Minister for Resources and Energy Minister for Tourism

THE HON. WARREN SNOWDON MP

Federal Member for Lingiari

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Minister for Defence Science and Personnel

Minister for Indigenous Health

**Embargoed until 7.30 pm, 19 January 2010**

OUTBACK NT SHOWCASED TO THE WORLD Stunning images of Oprah’s visit to Uluru and Kata Tjuta were screened to over 40 million viewers in the US yesterday as part of the first episode of Oprah’s Ultimate Australian Adventure.

Australian audiences will have the opportunity to watch the show tonight and they will be joined by millions more viewers as broadcast of the show rolls out to a further 144 countries around the world.

During the first episode Oprah told viewers about the amazing welcome she and her 302 Ultimate Audience members had received in Australia and the warmth and hospitality they all enjoyed during filming.

Oprah said she had seen a lot of sunsets in her day but the sunset over Uluru was “truly a stunner.” Oprah and her audience members were treated to a rare ceremony with the local Anangu women. Audience members said the ceremony was “a treasure and such a gift” and “a soul growth experience.”

Importantly, during the show, Oprah reminded everyone that despite the terrible floods ravaging parts of the country, Australians are resilient and recovery is underway.

Minister for Tourism, Martin Ferguson AM MP, said this message of support, from one of the world’s most influential celebrities, could not have come at a better time for Australia’s tourism industry.

“Tourism is a $965 million industry in the Northern Territory. It provides jobs where people live- in Darwin and Alice Springs as well as many regional communities,” Minister Ferguson said.

“Oprah’s Ultimate Australia Adventure not only showed international visitors about the quality of our experiences, it’s a reminder to Australians about the beauty and richness of our local tourism activities.

“Despite the extensive damage caused by the floods, the majority of our iconic tourism destinations - including in the Northern Territory - are untouched and trading as usual.

“They continue to welcome visitors, and it is important during this challenging time that we encourage people to have a holiday in Australia and ensure businesses maintain their meetings and conferences.

“Communities need the influx of tourism dollars, which will benefit the whole economy.

“Holidaying and continuing to conduct meetings and events in Australia will help flood-affected communities get back on their feet and help keep people in jobs.”

Member for Lingiari, Warren Snowdon, said Territorians should be congratulated for their role in making the visit by Oprah and her audience members such a resounding success.

“The Territory’s unique charm clearly got into the hearts and minds of Oprah and her audience members. This warmth and down-to-earth hospitality is what we’re renowned for and now it will be on display to the rest of the world.

“I’m sure many Territorians were proud to see our world class tourism experiences on offer, when Oprah visited the world Heritage listed Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park during her Ultimate Australian Adventure .

“The success of this visit will encourage many more visitors to come and discover for themselves our rich Aboriginal history and culture and iconic landmarks and we’re ready and waiting to welcome them,” Mr Snowdon said.

Tourism Australia, Tourism NT and commercial partners are targeting their marketing to help turn the publicity from Oprah's Ultimate Australian Adventure into travel bookings.

Media contact: Bindi Gove (Ferguson) 0406 644 913 Alice Plate (Snowdon) - 0400 045 999