When it comes to a celebrity visit, you can’t quite beat that of Aussie celeb royalty Chris Hemsworth.
The Thor actor, along with his wife Elsa Pataky, their three children and even director pal Taika Waititi enjoyed all Lord Howe Island had to offer during a lush family holiday this week.
Hemsworth, who also brought along his brothers Liam and Luke for the holiday, were the first to stay in the island’s newly completed luxury accommodation, dubbed the Island Lodge.
Hemsworth shared photos of the trip to the off-grid destination in support of the local tourism industry, saying “2020 has been incredibly hard for communities who depend on tourism”.
“Obviously not everyone is able to travel at the moment but once it’s safe to do so let’s support our fellow Aussies by taking a holiday at home,” he wrote on Instagram.
While Hemsworth might have been enjoying a lush subtropical getaway, surrounded by his famous family and friends, the stay was in part under his role as the tourism ambassador with Tourism Australia.
His stay coincides with the launch of Tourism Australia’s new $7 million ‘Holiday at Home’ campaign, which hopes to claw back at the billions lost in tourism because of COVID-19.
The campaign, which is fronted by Hamish Blake and his wife Zoe Foster-Blake, will be rolled out from today across print, social media, radio and outdoor advertising, hoping to encourage holiday-makers to book more than just hotels – but splash out on experiences as well.
The stunning outcrops of Lord Howe Island sit between New Zealand and Australia, about 600km and two hours’ flight from Sydney.
The Island House, where Hemsworth’s group stayed, is a family owned lodge, recently built as a base for adventures exploring Lord Howe Island.
Equipped with mountain bikes and surf gear, the four-bedroom property is a luxurious retreat geared up for outdoorsy activities. Started in 2017, it’s a more high-end reimagining of the rustic baches that were on site since the 1970s.
Tourism Australia managing director Phillipa Harrison said it was “great to see Chris and his family out and about experiencing parts of Australia with our wonderful tourism operators”.
It’s not the first Aussie getaway Hemsworth has taken this year that put a somewhat forgotten destination back on the map.
In July, Hemsworth and his family hooked up the caravan and set up camp at a coastal community that has struggled with a lack of tourism throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
Hemsworth posted a number of happy snaps from the holiday at Rainbow Beach, north of Noosa in Queensland, which tourism development manager Andrew Saunders said had done more to publicise the region to potential tourists than any other campaign of its kind.
“The Hemsworths can choose to holiday anywhere in the world and yet this is one of their favourite destinations,” Mr Saunders told the ABC.
“(A photograph shared by them) is worth tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands (of dollars).
“Anything I could do, or any operator could do, is far, far less (effective) than a post (on Instagram) from those guys.”
Mr Saunders said since the visit to the region in July, Gympie and the surrounding towns had experienced a boost in visitors – despite Queensland borders hardening for Victorian and some NSW residents.
“The Hemsworth’s visiting and endorsing Rainbow Beach is not hurting at all,” Queensland Tourism Council CEO, Daniel Gschwind, said of their visit.
– W ith the New Zealand Herald