Oprah screenings to boost Oz accommodation HMAA

Source = e-Travel Blackboard: M.H Oprah and Russell Crowe sailing in Sydney Harbour The Hotel Motel & Accommodation Association (HMAA) is confident that recent screenings in the US of Oprah Winfrey’s Australian adventures will parlay into big benefits for Australia’s accommodation industry.Occupancy levels across large parts of the country are expecting a much needed boost following the airing of the shows, watched by some 46 million Americans and screened in 145 countries.“The Gillard Government, Tourism Minister Martin Ferguson and Tourism Australia deserve high praise for getting the Oprah Winfrey Show down here,” HMAA chief executive Lorraine Duffy said.“While the Oprah visit on its own may not be the silver bullet our industry needs, we nonetheless expect a strong spike in Americans visiting our shores as a result of the publicity and Oprah’s amazing siren call.”Ms Duffy said the AU$3 million used to lure Oprah to Australia was money well spent and was a “terrific kick-start” to Tourism Australia’s goal of doubling overnight expenditure in Australia’s tourism industry by 2020.“Tourism academic Roger March has used figures from the US Office of Travel and Tourism Industries to estimate that Australia needs only to attract an extra 1350 travellers from the US to cover the $3m cost of bringing the show to Australia.”According to Ms Duffy, the HMAA also hopes that local destinations presented on Oprah will encourage more Australians to holiday within their own country.“It’s no secret that domestic tourism has suffered for a whole range of reasons, including the global financial crisis and the high Australian dollar,” Ms Duffy said.“Oprah’s Australian shows are a timely reminder about the amazing experiences that this country offers visitors travelling from interstate or even within their home state or territory.”