Ellen heads to Australia
Two years after Australia went into a frenzy over a visit from talkshow host Oprah Winfrey, the country is to host another queen of US daytime television – Ellen DeGeneres.
DeGeneres will visit in Australia in March and record several segments for the show while she is here. She announced the visit during an interview with Nicole Kidman. The announcement will be shown on an episode of The Ellen DeGeneres show fast-tracked by Arena to be broadcast tomorrow night.
The visit of Oprah Winfrey was seen as a significant coup for Tourism Australia. Four Australian episodes of the show were broadcast in the US and in 145 other countries in December 2010 and repeated in 2011. It led to more than 86,000 media articles globally and
In the first 10 months of 2012, visitor numbers from the US rose by 4.6% over the last 12 months – the highest growth since the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
Mumbrella understands that Tourism Australia was not involved in the Ellen deal. Supporting organisations include Destination News South Wales, Tourism Victoria, Qantas and vitamin brand Swisse. Kidman is Swisse’s global ambassador. The brand is about to launch in the US.
The announcement is the first major initiative since Qantas was reported to have severed its ties with Tourism Australia as part of a boardroom row.
Tourism Australia MD Andrew McEvoy welcomed the visit. He said: “It’s terrific that Ellen is coming to Australia. It is great news for Australia and compliments to Swisse on the initiative.
“Ellen has huge appeal within the United States, a key market for us, and will do a fantastic job in shining the media spotlight on the whole country, just as Oprah did for us in 2010.
“As with Oprah, she’ll be sending a big audience across, and a lot of Australian tourism operators will reap the benefits as they get to explore the tourism delights of NSW and Victoria.
“Oprah said her visit was about planting the seed and, with the resurgence in US arrivals in the past twelve months, I’d argue she did that pretty well. I have no doubt that Ellen’s visit will see those seeds grow quite a bit stronger, and maintain that great momentum and reignite US interest in Australia.”
Like the Oprah trip, DeGeneres created hysteria in her audience when she said they could come to Australia too.