Kylies visit Australia campaign halted amid bushfire devastation
Published on Monday, January 6, 2020
Tourism Australia has ‘paused’ its multi-million-dollar, high-profile Matesong campaign featuring Kylie Minogue amid the bushfires that continue to devastate huge parts of the country.
The advert, launched on Christmas Day, encourages UK viewers to ‘turn off the news’ and escape to Australia.
However, there have been concerns since it was launched that the message, which showcases clear skies, cuddly koalas and idyllic bush locations, is at odds with the severity of the current situation.
Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham initially defended the advert, which is the tourist board’s largest UK investment in over 10 years, but Tourism Australia has now confirmed some of the activity has been paused.
“In light of the current situation in Australia, we have reduced some of our campaign activity in the UK,” the spokesperson said.
“We continue to monitor the situation daily and will continue to review our planned activity over the coming days, weeks and months.”
The spokesperson added: “The campaign has been a long time in the planning and is a long-term play to attract UK visitors to Australia in the coming years.
“Whilst bushfires continue to impact parts of Australia, many areas of the country are unaffected and most tourism businesses are still open.
“We hope that our Matesong campaign will provide inspiration for our friends in the UK to plan a future trip, and we also hope that this demonstrates to those tourism areas impacted by the fires that we will continue to back them now and into the future.”
This weekend saw some of the worst days so far in the areas affected by bushfires.
Rain has fallen in parts of Australia and temperatures have dropped, but officials warned temperatures will rise by Thursday.
They also fear a ‘mega blaze’ if fires in Victoria and New South Wales meet.
Despite the drop in temperatures, haze pollution remains high. Qantas was forced to cancel all flights in and out of Canberra on Sunday.
Visibility in some parts of Melbourne is less than 1km.
Travel companies have been raising money for the bushfire relief effort.
Intrepid Travel announced at the weekend it would match all donations up to $100,000, with money going to the Australia Red Cross. Within 48 hours, the target had been reached, prompting the operator to up its match pledge to $200,000.
Travelpack has said it will make a £10 donation to relief efforts.
The company posted a map of England showing the huge area the bushfires currently cover. It said the map ‘makes the scale of the devastation more understandable’.