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Australia's Gone Mad for Oprah, Now How Long Before Hotel Rates Follow?

Where: Australia
December 15, 2010 at 8:45 AM | by | ()

Oprah on the balcony of the InterContinental Sydney.

Thanks to Hugh Jackman banging his face up while zip-lining onto Oprah's Sydney Opera House stage, people of all nations--not just the O-mad Aussies--know that Ms. Winfrey is in the house. But which hotels has Oprah been shacking up in while down under--and what does this mean for their futures?

We already suspected she would head to Qualia on Hamilton Island, but even we're impressed with the number of high-end hotels and resorts Oprah and her team have managed to hit up in less than a week.

After Qualia, there was Longitude 131 in the Northern Territory and Crown Towers in Melbourne.

Meanwhile, her 300-strong entourage that includes U.S. audience members who won the trip on her show, have bunked at the InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto and Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa in the Blue Mountains.

While details were kept strictly under wraps even just days before she landed in Australia last week, the local media has been following her movements breathlessly, especially in Sydney, where she's been staying at the InterContinental Sydney.

So, apart from some very giddy hotel GMs, what does this mean for the properties lucky enough to have been touched by the Oprah magic? Overall, according to The Australian newspaper, Tourism Australia is expecting returns on their investment of more than $14 million in the US and $71 million in Australia. (Yep, the Australian government paid part of O's way--Harpo put up the rest.)

Right now, rates for late January 2011 at the InterCon Sydney start at AUD$360 a night--which seems about right for the Aussie summer. But we bet that rate jumps as soon as we all see Oprah on our TVs, cavorting with koalas and Hugh and Nicole and Keith and Russell, while we freeze our butts off in January.

So you know what to do: if you fancy a hotel stay in Sydney this winter, book it now!

[Photo: PacificCoastNews.com via Zimbio ]

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