London: Talk show host Oprah Winfrey’s decision to gift 300 people with tickets to Australia has angered the country’s ministers, as the 1.8 million pounds bill will have to be footed by the tourism department.
Winfrey, 56, had promised her audience members on September 13 that she will treat them with a trip to Sydney in December to celebrate her 25th and final season of the Oprah show.
It later emerged that the state of New South Wales and Australia’s tourism department will be paying the staggering bill, which is said will help lure a huge amount of visitors to their shores.
“I think it’s money well spent. This truly represents an amazing opportunity to showcase Australia, the warmth and hospitality of our people and the depth and breadth of everything our country has to offer visitors from around the world,” the Daily Star quoted Tourism Minister Martin Ferguson as saying.
His West Australian counterpart, Liz Constable, has also reacted with fury at news of the massive bill, which she only found out about as it was announced earlier this week.
“I have spoken to the federal minister Martin Ferguson about this and expressed my disgust with the way Tourism Australia has handled this situation,” she stated.