Interview on Channel 9’s Today Show with Karl Stefanovic

  • Transcript, E&OE
Topics: Tourism Australia Dundee Ad; Wentworth.

Karl Stefanovic: Oh. How goodare the Hemsworths? Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham joins us. G'daySimon. How are you?

Simon Birmingham:G'day Karl. I'm good, and yourself?

Karl Stefanovic: You can't losewith a Hemsworth. Simon Birmingham:Well much better to put a Hemsworth on the ads than me or even youprobably mate.

Karl Stefanovic: Oh whatever.That's all we have time for, thanks for joining us. What do you thinkstars like the Hemsworth brothers do to bring people to Australiathough?

Simon Birmingham:Well, look, this is about really building on the US market.We launched the first stage of this campaign in the Super Bowl. Ithad huge reaction, was viewed by more than 100 million people. And we knowthat that then drove massive hits onto the website. Andthis is all about lifting tourism visitation to Australia from the US.

Karl Stefanovic: What's thebiggest challenge? I mean I would have thought the dollar the way it isright now is a big attraction?

Simon Birmingham:Look, that absolutely helps. Distance is the biggest challenge, italways is. Distance, cost. People want to come to Australia. Wehave to convert them to come to Australia, though. And so, this isabout providing that motivation, that prompt. And this is a campaign,where having used the other Hemsworth brothers, using Luke thistime, it's got a great capacity to spread. Not just through the paidmedia buy that we apply, but of course to be a talking point in theUS market.

Karl Stefanovic: How manyHemsworths are there?

Simon Birmingham:Three I believe.

Karl Stefanovic: Thatwe know of.

Simon Birmingham:Well, look, we'll go out and hunt for another one. If we do therecan be another stage of the Dundee campaign.

Karl Stefanovic: There you go.Well the recent campaign has kicked off with a tease of a'Crocodile Dundee' sequel. Can you tell us anything about that?

Simon Birmingham:Yes, this is now about an introduction to come and visit the set ofthe movie. For people who may not know the first part of thiscampaign was basically pretending that we had made a new Dundeemovie. And there was huge free publicity associated with that as peoplegot excited about the idea of this new Dundee movie. And then part waythrough it became clear it wasn't a movie it was an ad for Australia.This is now an invitation to come visit the set. So it's a slightlymore direct call to action in that sense – actually make the trip, come downhere. And of course it includes images from each and every State andTerritory around the country. We have multiple different versions ofthe ad that we air. And it's all about building on what is a 700,000plus market from the US already. And making sure we get more of thosevisitors, because each one spends on average about $5,000 per person whilethey're here in Australia.

Karl Stefanovic: Wehave been trying for a long time now since Hoges threw another shrimpon the barbie to get this right. Is it worth the money?

Simon Birmingham:It's absolutely worth the money. As I was saying each visitor herespends $5,000 per person while they're here. It'll only take fourextra jumbo planes over the course of the year to actually recoupthe investment in this ad. So it's pretty low investment. And you've justgot to be constant. I mean you can say we've been trying since Hogesand we've had great success since Hoges as well in growing the market. Butyou can't just exit the market and stop advertising. Coke don't everstop advertising their product. Australia's got to keep being in the US marketwith a presence to make sure people convert that love for Australiainto an actual visit down under.

KarlStefanovic: Who willbe the Member for Wentworth next week?

SimonBirmingham:That's up to the voters of Wentworth. I hopeit will be Dave Sharma.

KarlStefanovic: Tough?

SimonBirmingham:It is tough, very tough. The circumstances ofa couple of months ago I understand that, they don't help.People should vote for David Sharma he's a hugely capable guy with anenormous contribution he can make in the Parliament.

Karl Stefanovic: I tell youwho is good for tourism, Meghan and Harry.

Simon Birmingham:We are happy to have them here, knowing all the imagesare televised around the world and very happy that the babyannouncement was made in Australia.

Karl Stefanovic: Thankyou Simon.

Simon Birmingham: Thanks Karl.

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