Oprah piques US interest in Sydney holidays

by Alister POOLE on January 31, 2011

Oprah’s four-episode arch in Australia has seen a surge in bookings and tour package-related searches for holidays Down Under.

The daytime talk show queen could bring millions of extra dollars to Australia’s tourism industry after airing a four episode series on Sydney’s many attractions. The NSW government and tourist professionals said that a marked increase has been noticed since the talk diva’s series ran in the US.

Expedia, a popular online travel booking agency, said that it saw a 25 per cent rise in week-to-week terms in searches for hotels in Australia in the same week that Oprah’s travel special aired. Furthermore, in the same week searches for Australian tour packages soared 163 per cent from the week prior.

Business Events Sydney, a non-profit consortium of industry professionals and the NSW government said that the four episodes on attractions in the Australian state could boost tourism revenue by the millions. CEO Jon Hutchinson added that the already $693 million industry could see millions of additional profits with Oprah’s weeklong advertisement of Australian vacations.

The NSW government’s own dedicated webpage, Sydney.com, also saw a surge in traffic, rising 33 per cent from it standard number of visits. NSW tourism minister, Jodi McKay said in the US alone, vacation packages with Qantas were up 250 per cent.

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