For airlines – provided everyone isn’t sailing or driving to their destination – increased tourism tends to be a good thing. In the case of Qantas, the Sydney-based flier that handles nearly 20 percent of all air traffic in and out of Australia, an influx of visitors to the land down under is even better. With that in mind, the Aussie airliner partnered with Swisse Wellness in January, in an attempt to place the country it calls home on as many traveler’s radars as possible.
The joint venture hopes to draw attention to the Australia’s beautiful landscapes, diverse wildlife, and charming culture, with the help of one very famous and very funny foreigner: Ellen. In case you’re still at a loss, we’re referring to Comedian Ellen DeGeneres, whose wildly popular morning talk-show is in the midst of a six-day tour of the island. The foray was organized by Swisse Wellness which – like Qantas – is based out of Australia, but the host may have gotten a bit of a push from the home front as well. DeGeneres’ wife, Actress Portia De Rossi, is an Aussie herself and is accompanying the host on the tour. Coincidence? We think not.
Though the effect it will have on tourism – if any – remains to be seen, the trip seems to be going swimmingly for the show. An estimated 5,000 fans mobbed its stop in Melbourne, a head count which, DeGeneres said, exceeded the turnout for the taping in Central Park.
The segments being filmed now are set to air in April, when Qantas and Swisse Wellness hope that fans of the show will be inspired enough to follow in Ellen’s footsteps and plan their own tour of Aussie-land. For a little extra incentive, Qantas gave all those who attended the taping where the venture was announced a free return trip from either Sydney or Melbourne. Apparently, more than 100 of those audience members have already booked a flight.
So what about you? Any interest in the red rocks, reefs, koala bears, and kangaroos that Australia has to offer?