If you haven’t heard already (and frankly, where have you been?) Oprah Winfrey, the queen of day-time chat, is coming to Australia in December.
But she’s not coming alone. Of course not! Why travel on your lonesome in the comfort of a private jet when you can bring 300 of your nearest and dearest fans and turn a Qantas A380 into a travelling O-World?
Oh the excitement at Harpo was palpable as John Travolta donned his Qantas captains cap and helped the 300 Americans and their god-like talk show host kick off their Australian adventure.
Excited audience members aside, what does Oprah packing her bags and heading down under mean for Australia? Short answer: Lots of visitors!
No doubt Tourism Australia is hoping for a little or a lot of Oprah’s golden touch to rub off on Australia. And I’m sure it will. If nothing else it’s taken the focus of Australian politics for a couple of days…
For brand Australia and the places she’s visiting: Melbourne for shopping, Sydney for the Harbour and ‘Oprah House’ and the Great Barrier Reef, Oprah will make them household names well before Christmas. Even before her Australian shows air in January 2011, the buzz from having Oprah in Oz will reach her millions of loyal viewers, magazine subscribers, book club fans and online fans and have them packing their bags and heading to Australia.
I wouldn’t be surprised if hotels and flights aren’t already being snapped up in a holiday-booking frenzy.
And think of the 4.2 million people on Twitter who await her every tweet. Imagine the re-tweeting that will occur if she stops to take a happy snap along the way. Click, click, click ….
It will also be really interesting to see the characters she talks with on her trip to Oz. Perhaps she’ll find the next Dr Phil on a Harbour Cruise or a Nate Bergus at Bondi Junction.
As for where she’s going, her team has been working out the finer details for months with the help of Tourism Australia. They’ll also be travelling to Australia in coming months to hunt out the best places for Oprah to visit.
While Oprah decides which brand of sunblock to pack, her Australian fans will be waiting for their chance to score tickets to her once in a lifetime show at the Sydney Oprah House via a lottery system.
Perhaps it will be like the green card lottery to get into America. One thing’s for sure, it will ensure any Oprah fan who doesn’t use a computer regularly already will be frequent visitors of ten.com.au.
So what would you suggest Oprah and her 300 travel companions do while they’re in Australia? So many options …
I’ll stick with Victoria for our suggestion, although sadly she may only send her guests to our part of town. Two words: art and bars.
As Oprah says, cheers for now (I’ll work on my accent too!)
the c word