Croc Dundee still has pulling power to lure American visitors to Australia

by Ray Clancy on February 8, 2018

in Australia Travel

Australia is proving to be increasingly popular with American visitors who were first attracted to the country in large numbers when the first Crocodile Dundee movie came out in 1986.

When the movie featured scenes in New York the American love affair with the outback was firmly in place but hopes that a fourth film could be made have been dashed even although a spook trailer was received positively in the US.

Crocodile Dundee

(By Featureflash Photo Agency/Shutterstock.com)

The campaign was officially kick started with an advert unveiled to a TV audience of more than 100 million Americans during the Super Bowl game last week. In it they were ‘fooled’ into thinking there would be another movie featuring Brian Dundee, the long lost son American son of Mick Dundee.

While it looked like an official trailer for a new Crocodile Dundee movie, the 60-second advert was actually the start of a tourism marketing campaign to encourage even more Americans to visit Australia.

Tourism Australia managing director John O’Sullivan said the promotional power of the Crocodile Dundee franchise today was as a strong as when the original movie was released in 1986.

‘Crocodile Dundee put Australia on the map for Americans in the ’80s. The film helped shape their view of Australia, showing them our country’s natural beauty and Australians’ friendly and welcoming nature. And it remains relevant today, with our research showing that Mick Crocodile Dundee is still a character Americans believe warmly represents the Australian way of life,’ he explained.

‘The Big Game has the largest reach of any advertising platform in the US, with more than 100 million Americans tuning in and many more millions globally. It was the perfect platform to begin rolling out our biggest tourism push in the US in over 30 years, with more than 20 commercial partners primed to start converting the huge interest we’ve generated into bookings,’ he added.

However, since the advert there has been a huge public demand for another Crocodile Dundee movie, although original star Paul Hogan has said he would not be involved. But the advert’s star Chris Hemsworth has said that he would be interested in turning it into a full length feature film.

Currently the US is Australia’s third largest tourism market with 777,500 arrivals for the 12 months to November 2017, according to figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and there are 110 direct flights per week from the US to Australia.

Australia has just been named the top international destination for American travellers in 2018 by a survey of United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA) members.

‘The United States is a critical market for Australia, with close to 780,000 American visitors spending A$3.7 billion per year. A favourable exchange rate and strong aviation capacity leading to highly competitive airfares makes this the right time to increase our investment in the United States,’ said Australia’s Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Steven Ciobo.

‘Whilst Australia ranks highly among Americans in terms of desirability and awareness of our tourism offerings, we lag behind our competitors when it comes to actual bookings. This new campaign will address this conversion challenge,’ he added.

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