Oprah Could Save Australia's Tourism Industry

Oprah is taking 300 of her guests Down Under, and Australia hopes to get in on the deal.

Australia has spent millions of dollars on promoting its tourism. Its biggest success came from "Crocodile Dundee" star Paul Hogan serving as its pitchman. Since the Australia Tax Office is seeking $34 million in back taxes from the star, it's unlikely they'll get another endorsement from him.

The Sydney Summer Games gave Australia a small jump in 2000, but tourism have steadily fallen by as much as 25 percent over the last decade. A promotional tie-in with the Nicole Kidman-Hugh Jackman film "Australia" didn't help much either.

It seems the 15-hour flight is too much for most travelers.

But Oprah's all-expenses paid trip in December could give the nation a boost.

Ex-tourism minister John Brown told The Australian: 'We've spent hundreds of millions of dollars over 30 years without much effect. You couldn't possibly quantify the success that you're going to get from this. The publicity that Oprah will bring to Australia, all around the world, is something you couldn't buy.''

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