Tourism Australia

Tourism Australia is the Australian Government agency responsible for promoting Australian locations as business and leisure travel destinations. The agency is part of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade,[3] and employs 187 staff (including 80 staff at overseas offices).[4]

Tourism Australia
Tourism Australia logo.svg
Agency overview
Formed23 June 2004; 18 years ago (2004-06-23)[1]
Preceding agencies
  • Australian Tourist Commission[2]
  • See Australia[3]
  • Bureau of Tourism Research[3]
  • Tourism Forecasting Council[3]
HeadquartersSydney, New South Wales[3]
Annual budget$161 Million (2019-20)[5]
Minister responsible
Deputy Minister responsible
Agency executive
  • Phillipa Harrison[6], Managing Director
Parent departmentDepartment of Foreign Affairs and Trade[7]
Key document

Tourism Australia's objectives are to influence and encourage international and domestic travel to Australia, foster a sustainable tourism industry, and develop economic benefits to Australia from tourism.[1] The agency's Tourism 2020 strategy, which outlines certain goals and values for the agency's campaigns until 2020, predominantly aims to grow the "overnight annual expenditure" generated by tourism to $140 billion.[4] The agency is active in 15 markets,[8] including Australia, where it aims to grow demand for the nation's tourism experiences through international and domestic promotions, advocacy and representation.[9]

Organisational historyEdit

Tourism Australia was created in 2004 by the Tourism Australia Act (Cth) as a merger of four existing tourism organisations – the Australian Tourist Commission, the Bureau of Tourism Research, and the Tourism Forecasting Council, and See Australia.[3] Tourism Australia describes itself as the successor of the Australian Tourist Commission, and hence celebrated what would be the commission's 50-year anniversary in 2017.[2]

In February 2019, Tourism Australia collaborated with Australian Traveller to launch a magazine in the United States, Australia. Jane Whitehead, regional general manager Americas, Tourism Australia, said "In collaborating with Australian Traveller, we set out to tell quintessentially Aussie travel stories, while highlighting some of the finest hospitality product, in a way that compels travellers to book memorable vacations."[10]


The organisation caused controversy in 2006 when its advertising campaign "So where the bloody hell are you?" gained media attention following a ban in the United Kingdom.[11]

In January 2010 Tourism Australia displayed a caged kangaroo on a street in Hollywood. The kangaroo was filmed by a concerned member of the public who was reported as saying, "The kangaroo was there in a pen, like a 10 by 12 (foot) pen, straight on the concrete and it was really, really disturbing. It was just disturbing. There were kids who were really upset because this kangaroo was just rocking back and forth and back and forth and back and forth."[12] Australian macropod expert Tim Faulkner, after viewing the video of the kangaroo, said that it was clear the animal was not acting normally, "The animal is obviously distressed, there is no question about it. The sort of stress I see here suggests that it has endured long-term problems."[13]

In 2010, Tourism Australia launched its There's nothing like Australia campaign, sourcing its stories and photographs from the Australian public through a competition with strict licensing conditions.[14] The terms and conditions of the competition required the authors to assign all rights, including moral rights, to Tourism Australia and indemnify Tourism Australia against any legal action as a result of its re-using the works, which the Australian Copyright Council stated were extreme conditions and "particularly disturbing given that Tourism Australia is a government body".[15]

A 2019 advertising campaign, entitled Matesong, that featured Kylie Minogue, Ashleigh Barty, Adam Hills, Shane Warne, and Ian Thorpe, with a song written by Eddie Perfect, was aired on televisions in the United Kingdom before the Queen's message on Christmas Day.[16][17][18] However the advertisement was withdrawn several days later in light of the impact of the 2019–20 Australian bushfires.[19]


Scott Morrison served as Managing Director of Tourism Australia from 2004 until 2006, when his three-year contract was prematurely terminated.[20][21][22] Morrison was subsequently elected as the Member for Cook in the House of Representatives and served as Treasurer until August 2018 when he assumed the role of Prime Minister of Australia.[23]

In January 2014, Tourism Australia announced it had appointed Fox Sports' Chief Operating Officer John O'Sullivan as its Managing Director.[24] In September 2019 Phillipa Harrison was appointed as O'Sullivan's successor, having been the Acting Managing Director of Tourism Australia since his departure in April 2019.[25]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Tourism Australia Act 2004". Federal Register of Legislation. 12 May 2016. Retrieved 8 May 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. ^ a b "Our History". Tourism Australia. Retrieved 8 May 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Tourism Australia". Australian Government Information. Retrieved 8 May 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. ^ a b c "Annual Report 2020-21".
  5. ^ "Tourism Australia Corporate Plan 2019 - 2023" (PDF). Tourism Australia. Retrieved 8 May 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. ^ a b c "Our Management". Tourism Australia. Retrieved 8 May 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. ^ "Foreign Affairs and Trade Portfolio". Australian Government Directory. Retrieved 8 May 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. ^ "Our Organisation". Tourism Australia. Retrieved 8 May 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  9. ^ "Holiday Here This Year". Tourism Australia. Retrieved 8 May 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. ^ "Australian Traveller launches US magazine for Tourism Australia". Mumbrella. Retrieved 7 February 2019.
  11. ^ "Brit ban on 'bloody' ad 'incredibly ludicrous'". The Sydney Morning Herald. 28 March 2007. Archived from the original on 15 March 2016.
  12. ^ "PETA alerted over Tourism Australia stunt". 26 March 2010. Archived from the original on 3 October 2013.
  13. ^ "Tourism Australia criticised over kangaroo". The Daily Telegraph. Australia. 25 March 2010.
  14. ^ Lee, Julian (31 March 2010). "Australia's new slogan? There nothing like it". The Age. Archived from the original on 12 January 2014.
  15. ^ Redman, Elizabeth (15 April 2010). "Tourism Australia wants you and your intellectual property rights". Crikey. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016.
  16. ^ Wahlquist, Calla (26 December 2019). "Kylie Minogue tries to lure Brexit-weary Britons in new Tourism Australia ad 'Matesong'". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 26 December 2019. Retrieved 26 December 2019.
  17. ^ Derwin, Jack (27 December 2019). "Australia's new tourism ad featuring Kylie Minogue, Ash Barty, and Shane Warne cost $15 million. Here's why the government reckons it's worth every cent". Business Insider. Retrieved 6 January 2020.
  18. ^ "Kylie Minogue's Matesong Official Lyrics". Tourism Australia. 26 December 2019. Archived from the original on 26 December 2019. Retrieved 26 December 2019.
  19. ^ Bourke, Latika (4 January 2020). "'Out of respect': Kylie Minogue Matesong Tourism Australia ad pulled amid bushfire coverage". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 6 January 2020.
  20. ^ Carruthers, Fiona (1 September 2018). "Bloody hell! When ScoMo lost a political knife fight". Financial Review. Retrieved 7 January 2020.
  21. ^ Wainwright, Robert (26 July 2006). "So where the hell is he?". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 7 January 2020.
  22. ^ Kelly, Sean (November 2018). "Looking for Scott Morrison: The rise, duck and weave of Australia's no-fault prime minister". The Monthly. Retrieved 7 January 2020.
  23. ^ Rimmer, Michelle (24 August 2018). "Who is Scott Morrison? Meet Australia's new Prime Minister". SBS News.
  24. ^ Freed, Jamie (28 January 2014). "Fox Sports' John O'Sullivan named new MD of Tourism Australia". The Sydney Morning Herald. Archived from the original on 28 January 2014.
  25. ^ Ludlow, Mark (12 September 2019). "Tourism Australia appoints Phillipa Harrison to top job". Financial Review. Retrieved 7 January 2020.