Celebri­ties en­listed to save our tourism

Sunday Territorian - - NEWS - ANNIKA SMETHURST

CELEBRI­TIES and re­al­ity TV stars will be sent to save Aus­tralia’s dwin­dling tourism in­dus­try as part of a mul­ti­mil­lion-dol­lar bush­fire re­cov­ery pack­age for fire-rav­aged com­mu­ni­ties.

To­day, the Mor­ri­son Govern­ment will in­ject $76 mil­lion to help Aus­tralia re­cover from its un­prece­dented tourism slump with new data re­veal­ing air­line book­ings to Aus­tralia’s hol­i­day hot spots have plum­meted due to the bush­fire cri­sis.

The pack­age will in­clude al­most $10 mil­lion to fly celebri­ties, TV hosts and on­line in­flu­encers to Aus­tralia to spread the word that Aus­tralia is open for busi­ness.

The money will go to Aus­tralia’s In­ter­na­tional Me­dia Host­ing Pro­gram which re­cently funded trips for Bol­ly­wood star Pari­neeti Cho­pra and singer Kelly Row­land.

Aus­tralia’s fa­mous beaches and high-qual­ity pro­duce may also ap­pear on for­eign screens with US talk show Late Night with Seth Mey­ers and the Chi­nese re­al­ity show We Are in Love – which sees Asian celebri­ties trav­el­ling to ex­otic des­ti­na­tions – both film­ing in Aus­tralia last year as part of the host­ing pro­gram.

New data, pro­vided ex­clu­sively to NewsCorp, re­veals air­line book­ings from 12 key mar­kets dropped by over 30 per cent last week alone, while book­ings from tourists in Hong Kong, Ger­many and the United King­dom were down by more than 50 per cent since De­cem­ber 9.

The North­ern Ter­ri­tory, Queens­land, West­ern Aus­tralia and Tas­ma­nia which have been less af­fected by fires have also been hurt by the slump, with Aus­tralia’s rep­u­ta­tion tak­ing a ma­jor hit with vi­ral mis­in­for­ma­tion scar­ing tourists away.

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