Oprah Visit Down Under To Cost Australian Taxpayers

Travel News — By Carlo Alcos on September 23, 2010 at 7:00 am

Oprah’s excited. The audience accompanying her is excited. Aussie fans of the show are excited. But what about the average Australian tax payer?

Not so much, according to this Daily Mail article. We first reported about Oprah’s surprise gift to her audience here. During the first episode of her 25th — and final — season, Oprah stunned audience members with the announcement that she is taking them all to Australia on her “Ultimate Australian Adventure.” But who exactly is taking them? According to the The Age, the New South Wales government and the Australian tourism board are footing the estimated $3.3 million bill.

Predictably, that’s rubbing a lot of Aussie tax payers the wrong way. Some comments from recent articles announcing the news:

Australian tax payers will be helping to pay for it. You got to love how this government waste our money.

Can’t you see? We’re a gimmick to the USA, and the only city they really know of is Sydney…so makes sense. They’ll probably be asking why they can’t see the kangaroos in the streets.

The Toronto Sun reports that Tourism Minister Martin Ferguson is fully on board:

I think it’s money well spent. This truly represents an amazing opportunity to showcase Australia, the warmth and hospitality of our people and the depth and breadth of everything our country has to offer visitors from around the world. Tourism Australia is finally getting it together.

And Tourism Australia’s chairman, Geoff Dixon, claims that “you couldn’t possibly quantify the success that you’re going to get from this. The publicity that Oprah will bring to Australia, all around the world, is something you couldn’t buy.”

[Image: cogdogblog / Flickr]

Tags: Australia, Oprah Winfrey, taxes, tourism, Ultimate Australian Adventure

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