Escape Brexit with Down Under holiday, Australia tells UK

Sydney, Dec 26 (AFP/APP): Australia has launched a new tourism campaign starring singer Kylie Minogue aiming to attract British tourists fatigued by Brexit to escape on a laid-back Down Under holiday.

The three-minute advertisement, which premiered ahead of the queen’s televised Christmas Day address in Britain, begins with a primly dressed Minogue apparently at Sandringham, the monarch’s country home, before the set disappears to show the pop star on a beach of the same name in Australia.

London-based Minogue begins by singing “This year’s been tough and confusing, but progress is moving” before antipodean comedian Adam Hills jumps in with “Well, at a glacial pace”.

“But all of Australia loves you, and we’ll never judge you,” the 51-year-old former Neighbours star continues.

The “Matesong” video later alludes to Brexit again with the lyrics “negotiating tricky trade deals is a shocker”.

Tourism Australia said the Aus$15 million ($10 million) campaign was its largest investment in the British market for more than a decade.

“At a time of uncertainty in the UK, the light-hearted musical tribute represents a symbolic hand of friendship from Australia that warmly celebrates the deep and long-standing ties that exist between the two countries,” the marketing agency said in a statement.

While the ad is timed to reach Brits as they face the chill of winter, it also comes as Australia’s tourism industry weighs the potentially negative effects of devastating bushfires that have been raging across the country for months.

With Sydney’s usually pristine blue harbour regularly obscured by thick smoke haze and badly burned koalas losing large swathes of their habitat, traditional tourism drawcards have featured heavily in global media coverage of the disaster.

Some internet users noted an incongruity between the reality of the bushfire crisis and the advertised images of clear blue skies and healthy marsupials.

The ad — which also features world tennis number one Ashleigh Barty, Olympic swimmer Ian Thorpe and ex-cricketer Shane Warne — is part of a three-year global Tourism Australia campaign worth Aus$38 million.

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