They charmed the nation hugging children in drought-stricken Dubbo, joining an “anti bad vibes” circle at Bondi Beach and riding on Melbourne’s iconic tram.
And although many argue about the costs of a Royal visit to the Aussie taxpayer, the future economic benefits of the latest visit is likely to well outweigh the bill, according to Managing Director of Tourism Australia, John O’Sullivan.
On their 10-day tour, the much-loved royal power couple are showcasing some of Australia’s most iconic sites to audiences around the world, which has a direct impact on tourism dollars.
“We live in a world of celebrity, no more so when it comes to the British Royal family, whose visits Down Under always draw huge crowds and generate enormous global media coverage,” he told Yahoo Finance.
“With iconic photo ops carefully built into the travelling itinerary, and with such a large international press corp covering their every move, these Royal visits can have significant tourism benefits.”
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s (William and Kate) visit to Australia in 2014, saw glorious TV pictures and photos of the Royal couple in front of Uluru, visiting Taronga Zoo and the Three Sisters in the Blue Mountains, beamed across the globe.
Prince William, Kate Middleton and George’s bill for their 10-day tour was a cool $2m, but tourism operators subsequently reported that interest in historic Aussie sites including Uluru and the Three Sisters spiked following the royal tour.
“All of these destinations are Australian tourism icons, and this was effectively free tourism promotion for our country,” said O’Sullivan.
Climbing Sydney’s Harbour Bridge, a visit to Lake McKenzie and opening Invictus Games is also on Harry and Meghan’s Aussie itinerary which wraps up on Sunday October 28.
The excitement around the glamorous pair’s visit is similar to when super celeb Oprah graced our shores back in 2014 , which Tourism Australia attributed to a massive 50% jump in US travellers visiting Australia.
The royals’ 16-day tour also includes visits to New Zealand, Tonga and Fiji.