Friday, April 10, 2009

Where the Bali hell are you?

Where the bloody hell are you? Apparently not in Bali.

In the wake of two bombings and bad press surrounding the high-profile Schapelle Corby, Bali Nine and Michelle Leslie drug trials, Australians are shunning Bali big time.

The number of Australians heading to the tourist island has dropped from about 224,000 to just 95,000 - a 57 per cent slump that has had a devastating impact on the island's economy. During the same period, the number of European tourists heading to Bali has fallen far less - by about 15 to 20 per cent.

It's a contrast Australian businessman Brett Morgan has played up in an online viral marketing campaign he has launched to spark a resurgence in Australians packing their bags for Bali. The campaign features a tongue-in-cheek video that shamelessly twists the controversial Tourism Australia tagline, "Where the bloody hell are you?" to "Where the Bali hell are you?"

It stars a smiling Balinese guide who highlights how Bali's delights are now being lapped up by tourists from other parts of the world while Australians miss out. "Hey look, the Japanese are surfing your bloody waves," the guide says as a group of surfers runs along a beach. "The Russians are in your bloody spas. The Dutch are wearing your bloody thongs. The Americans are doing your bloody shopping. The Italians are drinking your bloody beer. The French are eating in your bloody restaurants. The Germans are laughing in your bloody pool bars."

At the end of the clip, the guide asks: "Aussie ... where the Bali hell are you?"