US tourism operators said the ‘Oprah effect’ has worked its charm in America, boosting New South Wales sales enquiries after Oprah’s visit to Oz.
Qantas vacation reported a 250 percent spike in its website traffic while NSW state government’s website has received an increase of 33 percent in site visitors, Courier Mail reported.
Online travel agent Expedia also reported that between 18 to 24 January, the week of the Oprah screening in the US, there was a 25 percent rise in Australian hotel searches compared to the week before as well as a 163 percent growth in searches for packages to Oz.
“The figures confirmed recent local industry views that the ‘Oprah halo’ had indeed taken effect on driving inbound travel from the US market,” Expedia general manager Nicolas Chu said.
Despite the increase in interest, Tourism managing director Andrew McEvoy said the full effect could take up to five year.
Mr McEvoy said Harpo Productions warned him that Oprah’s influence was more of a long-term impact.
"She wore Ugg boots on the show seven or eight years ago and Harpo told me they continue to get people who walk in and ask for them because of Oprah,” he said.
"I think the big thing is that this won’t deliver everything in a month or six months or 12 months – it will deliver a lot in the next five years."
Tourism Minister Martin Ferguson recently travelled to the US to follow up on the Oprah down under episode airings.In December last year Oprah and her audience of 300 travelled down under and filmed four episodes covering the Northern Territory, Sydney, Melbourne and Hamilton Island.
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J