Kidman, Jackman kiss may boost Oz tourism

May 4th, 2008 - 3:51 pm ICT by admin  

Nicole Kidman

Perth, May 4 (ANI): The steamy on-screen kiss by Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman in Baz Luhrmann’s upcoming outback blockbuster Australia could be worth millions of dollars to Western Australias tourism industry.

WA Tourism Minister Sheila McHale said that the kiss could become a significant element in the tourism agenda, adding that it would be worth millions to the WA economy.

“This kiss could be a key element of our tourism agenda. People could make a decision to come to WA because of that kiss,” Perth Now quoted her, as saying.

“This will be the most significant exposure that WA has ever had. The market potential is huge. You couldn’t buy the exposure of images of WA on the big screen, even if you wanted to,” she added.

Tourism Australia boss Geoff Buckley also agreed.

“An epic romance is not necessarily something that the global market has associated with WA, but this romance — this kiss — could have a significant impact on changing that perception,” he said.

The film, set on the fictional homestead Faraway Downs, near Kununurra, is shaping up as a goldmine for local tourism and the WA Government, which invested just 500,000 dollars in the 120 million dollars movie.

“This film could be a real turning point for Australia, and WA in particular,” Buckley said.

“Hundreds of millions of people around the world will see the extraordinary landscapes of the North-West for the first time and they will be blown away.

“I think it has the power to make the likes of Punululu an iconic landscape and one of those magical places that people the world over recognise as part of what makes Australia so special,” he added.

Buckley could not confirm if scenes from the film were being pitched for Tourism Australia’s next international ad campaign.

However, McHale said she was working with Luhrmann’s Bazmark Productions to maximise the film’s potential to promote WA.

“There’s no doubt it will attract a huge international audience,” she said.

“People will want to come to see the Faraway Downs homestead for themselves,” she added.

Australia is in post-production and set for release on November 13. (ANI)

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