2001, Total Running Time 104 Minutes (4 x 26 Minutes)
This four-part series reveals how tourism is shaping Australia’s identity overseas and at home.
Each year, millions of tourists come to Australia looking for the quintessential "Aussie experience", but are they getting anything more than koalas, boomerangs and a shrimp on the barbie? Selling Australia takes an eye-opening journey behind the scenes of Australia's multi-billion dollar tourism industry.
It reveals a world of ruthless marketing where canny entrepreneurs are determined to give visitors exactly what they want, whether it’s a taste of Aboriginal culture, sandy beaches or a bush adventure. It’s the Australia they’ve come to expect overseas and a picture that has been carefully and expensively constructed through international advertising campaigns and local initiatives. But how does it fit with reality and the image the nation has of itself? And is it evolving as the country changes?
This entertaining, often amusing series offers a ride around the Golden Triangle of Australian tourism, from Sydney at the height of its Olympic frenzy to the Reef in tropical Queensland, and then to the country’s red heart. It moves at a cracking pace from shearing sheds and indigenous dancing to snorkelling and Japanese weddings, with plenty of photo opportunities on the way. As expected, the scenery is stunning and experiences memorable. But at the centre of each episode are important questions about Australia and the nation’s identity.
With tourism fast becoming one of the biggest industries across the globe, Selling Australia looks at just how far a country is prepared to go in search of the tourist dollar.
Games, The In town for the Sydney Olympics, foreign journalists attempt to uncover the real Australia.
The 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney was the biggest media event ever staged. Never before had Australia attracted such intense international attention. For the tourism industry, it was the marketing event of a lifetime. But with the eyes of the world on Australia, the image of an entire nation was at stake. Reporting on everything from Vegemite and drag queens to Aboriginal demonstrations, over 17,000 media personnel beamed their stories to the world. It’s hardly surprising that Australians felt a little apprehensive about how we would be seen.
Brand, The Crocodile Dundee is back in the ads and bringing in tourists like never before.
In 1984, the Australian Tourist Commission launched an advertising campaign promoting Australia to the world. The commercials not only made the country a number one holiday destination, they also put forward an image of Australia that, to this day, remains fixed in foreign perceptions. Nearly 20 years later, actor Paul Hogan is back for the latest campaign and it’s proving the most successful ever. But does the image of Crocodile Dundee on a beach with a koala have the country trapped in a timewarp? And how does the bush legend fit with the contemporary reality of a largely urbanised nation that is increasingly sophisticated and cosmopolitan?
Tourist Town To protect its biggest industry, Cairns will do virtually anything to cater for the tourists.
In tropical far-north Queensland, Cairns is a tourist mecca. As planeload after planeload of visitors arrive, even the customs officials are getting training in hospitality and cultural sensitivity. For tourists, the town seems pretty close to paradise, but it’s not quite perfect. Cairns has no beach. No problem - Cairns City Council has decided to build one. However, as the heavy machinery moves in, some locals are up in arms. It seems that, for the sake of its biggest industry, Cairns will do virtually anything to please.
Red Heart, The Deep in Australia's red centre, two groups of tourists seek an authentic Aboriginal cultural experience.
The Images of the outback and Indigenous culture have been used to sell Australia for decades, yet few Australians have had significant contact with either. In this episode, two sets of tourists seek an authentic Aboriginal cultural experience: one a busload of 38 Americans on a whirlwind package tour of the red centre; the other, a small group of mainly Australians heading for a remote desert community where they will take part in five days of traditional song and dance as part of a journey towards reconciliation.
A Film Australia National Interest Program in association with Prospero Productions Pty Ltd. © 2011 National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.
Director: Julia Redwood
Narrator: Sigrid Thornton
Total Running Time: 104 Minutes
Classification: Exempt from classification
Curriculum Links: SOSE, Business Studies, Geography, English, Media and Communication, Marketing and Tourism.
Desert Tracks (The Red Heart)