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Despite stalled growth in China, Brazil and Russia, a wave of newly middle-class travelers from the BRICs and beyond will start visiting international destinations in the coming decades — dwarfing the numbers we’ve seen thus far.
The publicity that a destination garners from a few blog posts is nothing in comparison to the tourism boost that results from lengthy exposure on a national celebrity’s TV show.
Oprah Winfrey’s visit to Australia is finally paying off, with the growth in American tourists at its highest level since the Sydney Olympics. After a drop last year – attributed to the global financial crisis – the number of US visitors rose nearly four per cent to around 472,000 people in the year to October.
A survey of 500 US travellers last October found 73 per cent had visited recently or booked a trip in the coming year had been influenced by Oprah. “It’s not just Oprah though, I think the marketing the state tourism organisations have done with us and the airlines has also helped.”