Paul Hogan on Australian tourism: More cheerful approach needed


Comedian Paul Hogan, who fronted some of Australia’s most successful tourism campaigns, says a more cheerful approach is needed to lure visitors.

Paul Hogan, who fronted some of our most successful tourism campaigns, says Australia has forgotten what makes it appealing to international visitors, and it’s not moody shots of the desolate outback or a girl in a bikini asking ‘Where the bloody hell are you?’.

‘The last lot (of ads) didn’t work because it didn’t look like a wonderful place to go, to me. The ad was depressing,’ Hogan said of Baz Luhrmann’s ‘go walkabout’ campaign.

‘It was more of an ad for the movie than for Australian tourism. They need to pull that.

‘Same as they needed to pull that ‘where the bloody hell are you?’ thing. That never worked either.’

Hogan and Kenny star Shane Jacobson have been reminding themselves about what makes Australia great, working on a new road trip movie, Charlie Boots, which sees them travelling from Victoria to northern Queensland.

Hogan said that his ‘throw another shrimp on the barbie’ ads from the 1980s worked because people could sense he was telling the truth, and they showcased the welcoming Aussie attitude.

The 69-year-old Crocodile Dundee star said he didn’t want to front the ads again because it might look a bit desperate, but thought a similar approach could work.

‘We might be able to get Paul to stand by the barbie and say ‘g’day folks. I’m a bit old to be worrying about travelling but my mate here Shane, he’s got himself a new fandangled barbecue. Tell them what it’s like boy’,’ Jacobson joked.

It’s a ripper Paul. We’re not doing shrimps, we’re just doing steaks. We’ve got heaps of cows, come out and have a bit of cow’.’

Hogan and Jacobson play a father and son duo in Charlie Boots, who go on a fishing trip to the northernmost point of Australia to help them overcome the loss of their wife and mother.

The two comic actors said they had a great time working together on the film by director Dean Murphy, who worked with Hogan on Strange Bedfellows.

‘It was fantastic,’ Jacobson said.

‘A little too much laughter,’ Hogan added.

‘We both laugh at the same things.’

They said that unlike Crocodile Dundee and Kenny, the characters in Charlie Boots were more like everyday Aussies.

‘They’re not heightened characters, they’re more real,’ Jacobson said.

‘Crocodile Dundee was the image that Australian men think they have, especially in America,’ Hogan said.

‘When they get off the plane they start to walk a bit differently.’

Charlie Boots has its world premiere in Melbourne this weekend, and opens nationally on September 3.