Oprah Winfrey not paying for trip Down Under

Last Updated: Sep 16, 2010, 12:25 PM IST

London: When talk show host Oprah Winfrey told 300 audience members that she was taking them on a vacation to Australia, she left out the fact that she would not be paying for the trip.

Winfrey, 56, had left the audience, during her September 13 show, shocked when she announced that she would be jetting all of them Down Under to celebrate her 25th and final season of the Oprah show.

But the 1.8 million pounds bill for the 300, who will be flown over to Sydney in December, will not be footed by Winfrey but by the state of New South Wales and Australia’s tourism department

And despite a backlash from taxpayers, the state’s politicians insist the trip will lure a huge amount of tourists to their shores.

“I think it’s money well spent,” the Daily Express quoted Tourism Minister Martin Ferguson as saying.

“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.

“Tourism Australia is finally getting it together. We as a nation will win as a result of this coup,” he stated.

ANI