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Shark movie puts the bite back into Australian tourism

The producer of a new killer shark movie filmed in Queensland says the film will not scare away tourists from the Great Barrier Reef but will actually boost traveler numbers.
04 November 2009
The $3.5 million movie, The Reef, was filmed in Bowen and Harvey Bay telling the story of five young people who are sailing in tropical waters when their yacht sinks, leaving them stranded in open waters with a Great White shark.

This species does not inhabit the Great Barrier Reef.

The Reef's producer Michael Robertson said similar scary films involving crocodiles, like Rogue released in 2007, had given Australian tourism a massive boost.

"I know that when the crocodile films were made in the Northern Territory it actually increased tourism [there]," he told

Tourism Minister Peter Lawlor said movie goers were smart and would not be scared off by what was clearly a fictional film.

"The vast majority of people are able to discern fact from fiction and movies such as this can in fact help raise the profile of a destination and add to Australia's image as an adventure destination. This appeals to many visitors such as backpackers,” Mr Lawlor said.

Those keen for an Australian backpacking adventure will need to have the Australian Working Holiday Visa , which allows young travellers aged 18 to 30 years to work and travel the country for up to 12 months.

Tourist travelers wanting to experience Australia will need an Australian Travel Visa. The most commonly used for tourism purposes is the Australian ETA visa, which can be applied for quickly online.

The Reef will be released in late 2010.