Australia has recorded the highest tourist spending since 1999, much of it attributed to the controversial “Where the bloody hell are you?” campaign.
The controversial and recently axed “Where The Bloody Hell Are You?” tourism campaign appears to have paid off with Australia posting its strongest tourist spending in close to a decade.
Holidaymakers injected $85 billion into the $1 trillion economy in 2006-2007, with overseas visitors accounting for $22 billion of that, up 9.8 per cent, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said.
The bureau’s figures include total consumption, such as meals, drinks and attractions.
“While today’s figures are a shining light for the sector, we can’t afford to rest on our laurels,” Tourism and Transport Forum (TTF) managing director Christopher Brown told local media.
The result was the strongest since 1999 and came in the middle of the $180 million “Where The Bloody Hell Are You?” campaign, in which a bikini-clad model asks why overseas visitors haven’t come to Australia yet.
The two-year campaign, created by advertising agency M&C Saatchi, was banned in Britain and Canada, and was dropped by the Australian government in February.
The figures showed tourism accounted for 3.7 per cent of Australia’s economy and employed 482,800 people.
But more recent tourism data has showed signs of weakness from key markets including Japan and Britain. Overseas arrivals were down 1.2 per cent in February and 0.7 per cent in January.
Tourism Minister Martin Ferguson has flagged a new international campaign presenting Australia for the next three years as a “mature, inviting country”.
The sales pitch also hopes to capitalise on the anticipated success of the new historical film epic Australia, starring Oscar-winning actress Nicole Kidman.