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Crocodile Dundee anniversary to boost Kakadu tourism

26 April 2016

The 30th anniversary of the release of Crocodile Dundee is expected to provide a significant boost to tourism in Kakadu, where most of the film’s Australian scenes were shot.

The film was released in Australian cinemas on 30 April 1986, and became an immediate success, with the film conquering the international market after it was released on 26 September 1986. Made for just over A$8 million, the film went on to gross some A$400 million globally.

Crocodile Dundee showcased some of Kakadu’s most spectacular landscapes including Ubirr, Nourlangie and Gunlom, along with the region’s rich wildlife – particularly its saltwater crocodiles – and Aboriginal heritage.

For Kakadu, a fledgling tourism industry was supercharged overnight, with the crocodile the central attraction, whether it be in accommodation or tours, with nearby Yellow Water Billabong established as one of the most popular locations for cruises to catch sight of crocodiles in their natural habitat.

Kakadu Tourism is anticipating the focus of the film will significantly boost international and domestic tourism to Kakadu in the year ahead, with the first quarter of 2016 already seeing the best results in five years.

To commemorate the anniversary, the first Kakadu Discovery Month was held throughout April, offering visitors a chance to explore some of the sites made famous by Crocodile Dundee.

Chair of Kakadu Tourism, Rick Allert, said that conditions were perfect a major revival in tourism to Kakadu.

“A relatively dry ‘wet’ season has meant that most of the Park’s attractions will be open from May, which is about a month earlier than usual,” said Mr Allert.

Crocodile Dundee had an incredibly powerful impact on the destination. The Paul Hogan character and the stunning landscapes of Kakadu combined to present a powerful image that had rarely been seen before on the screen.

“In the 30 years since Crocodile Dundee was released, tourism infrastructure such as roads, accommodation and tour programmes have made visiting Kakadu much easier, but what hasn’t changed is the unique landscape and Indigenous character of the region. It is still one of the most remarkable and beautiful attractions in Australia.”

Tourism Australia Managing Director, John O’Sullivan, said that Crocodile Dundee and the Paul Hogan campaign that immediately preceded the movie had played an instrumental part in putting Australia on the radar of American holiday makers.

"The Crocodile Dundee movies were hugely successful and the scenes filmed in Australia provided wonderful exposure for our country's raw nature and warm and welcoming people, embodied by Paul Hogan as the likeable larrikin Mick Dundee.

"It’s still hard to believe that it’s been 30 years since that first Crocodile Dundee film started breaking box office records. The actors may have aged, the fashions may be a little dated but the spectacular scenery of the Northern Territory and rugged Kakadu landscapes have certainly not lost any of their magic appeal,” he said.

Mr O’Sullivan added that the interest in the film’s 30 year anniversary was great for tourism, and would hopefully inspire a whole new generation of American Crocodile Dundee fans to head Down Under.

Coinciding with the 30th anniversary of Crocodile Dundee, Tourism NT have launched a campaign encouraging holiday-makers to visit Kakadu.

A series of quirky Tweetbuster videos will be used to tackle barriers people have about travel to Kakadu in order to boost visitors to the region.

“The new Tweetbuster videos provide the opportunity to connect key Kakadu tourism operators directly with potential holiday-makers through YouTube and Facebook and dispel some myths that Kakadu is too boring, or too hard to get to,” says Tourism NT Chief Executive Officer, Tony Mayell.

The Kakadu campaign will run until 22 May and is part of the NT Government’s plan to drive the development of North Australia and build a $2.2 billion visitor economy by 2010.