Oprah Winfrey.
Oprah Winfrey. Bang ShowBiz

Tourism board to foot Oprah's bill

OPRAH Winfrey's trip to Australia will reportedly be funded by the Australian government.

The talk show host - who announced to her studio audience on Monday that she planned to mark her final season on the programme by flying them Down Under - has sparked fury after it emerged the Australian tourist board are planning to splash out more than $2.3 million to pay for 300 guests to enjoy an eight-day all-expenses-paid trip.

One angry message board user protested: "Australian tax payers will be helping to pay for it. You got to love how this government wastes our money."

Another blasted: "Can't you see? We're a gimmick to the USA, and the only city they really know of is Sydney, so makes sense. They'll probably be asking why they can't see the kangaroos in the streets."

However, Australia's Tourism Minister Martin Ferguson called the deal "a major coup", claiming he had received federal and state funding to convince Oprah to go to Australia.

It is believed the country's government is donating around $1 million "mostly in accommodation costs" for the trip, which will culminate in a finale shot at the Sydney Opera House - which will be renamed the Sydney Oprah House for the occasion.

Hollywood star John Travolta - who is a qualified pilot - has promised to fly the plane taking the guests on 'Oprah's Ultimate Australian Adventure'.


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