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Qantas to fly Ellen down under

Top-rating The Ellen DeGeneres Show will visit Australia in March in what is expected to deliver a major boost for inbound tourism.

The visit was announced by Ellen DeGeneres and Swisse Wellness Global Ambassador Nicole Kidman in an episode filmed today that will be watched by a global audience of more than 16 million people.

The Ellen DeGeneres Show, sponsored by Swisse Wellness for its global product launch, will film numerous segments around Melbourne and Sydney in March that will air in April to around 60 countries around the world.

Qantas has partnered with Swisse Wellness to support the initiative as part of the airline’s ongoing commitment to promoting Australia to the world.

During the in-studio announcement in Los Angeles, The Ellen DeGeneres Show audience each received a free return flight on Qantas between the United States and Australia. These trips can be taken any time before the end of the year from New York, Dallas Fort Worth or Los Angeles to Sydney or Melbourne.

Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said helping to bring The Ellen DeGeneres Show to Australia was a fantastic opportunity to market the country to a massive worldwide audience.

“This is a great coup for Australian tourism,” Joyce said. “The Ellen DeGeneres Show is one of the top-rating shows in the United States and screens in several key source tourism markets, making it a great platform to profile what Australia has to offer as a holiday destination.

“Ellen is a household name and her unique brand of fun and optimism is a perfect match for the relaxed Australian culture.

“Qantas is thrilled to be able to provide its support to make this happen in partnership with another great Australian business, Swisse Wellness.

“We look forward to working with Swisse Wellness and the tourism sector in Victoria and New South Wales to help maximise worldwide exposure,” Joyce said.

The United States is a key source market for visitors to Australia. The Ellen DeGeneres Show also screens in other key source markets including the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Japan.

The announcement topped off a week of promoting Australia to the United States. On January 9, Qantas, with the support of Swisse Wellness, hosted its annual Spirit of Australia party in Los Angeles, which profiles Australian talent on the world stage.

Keith Urban was the guest of honour at the Qantas Spirit of Australia party in Los Angeles, which is part of G’Day USA, an annual event which promotes travel to Australia and celebrates Australian success in the United States.
Qantas International Chief Executive Officer Simon Hickey said the airline was thrilled to host an exclusive performance by one of Australia’s most successful musicians.

“The event was about showcasing the best of Australia on the world stage – something Keith Urban has been doing for many years,” Hickey said at the Spirit of Australia party.

“We’re delighted that he could join us at the second Qantas Spirit of Australia party, alongside a host of accomplished Australians.

“Australia continues to export a wealth of talent in many fields, from acting and music to business and sport, and we are particularly well-represented in the United States.

“As national carrier, Qantas is proud to work with some of these outstanding individuals in promoting Australian tourism, trade and culture – including here at G’Day USA.

“Qantas remains by far the largest private contributor to Australian tourism, with a multi-million dollar marketing commitment, and we look forward to building on that investment during 2013.

“We will be maximising our relationship with tourism operators and state tourism authorities to ensure that we provide the strongest possible support for Australia’s destination marketing effort.”

Urban said it was exciting to be involved with such a unique event.

“It’s a privilege to be able to lend my support to promoting the beauty and culture of Australia. Qantas has been the driving force behind that effort. We’re thrilled to have them partnering with us for our Australian tour,” he said.

The Qantas Spirit of Australia party was held at the Montage Hotel in Los Angeles and guests included John Travolta, Miranda Kerr and Liam Hemsworth.

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