If there’s one industry that will continue to experience the impact of the global pandemic long after lockdown itself ends, it’s that of the tourism industry. One of the first to experience the mass shutdowns that Covid-19 necessitated, regional towns and tourist hotspots across Australia have been left reeling for months on end. For one NSW small town though, it presented an opportunity to go big or go home. Those in Cowra, still grappling with a decimated season of tourism, set their sights on Aussie Golden Boy and Hollywood A-lister Chris Hemsworth, launching a viral campaign to name the star as the town’s ambassador.
The online campaign, aptly titled “Get Chris to Cowra”, wasted no time in amassing a strong following. Instantly, it garnered widespread attention online, even catching the eye of the Golden Child himself as Hemsworth saw the campaign and shared it to his own Instagram page. Now, Hemsworth is doing his part and has even agreed to visit the town of some 13,000 people next year once filming wraps on his latest project. “Big love to all the folks in Cowra for this amazing campaign, warmed my heart and made me smile! I’m off shooting a film over seas soon but upon return next year I’m comin in hot!!” Chris wrote on Instagram.
“Like many regional towns around Australia, Cowra has suffered from a lack of tourism due to Covid-19 pandemic. So when things open up be sure to check out all the amazing places Australia has to offer!”
As Cowra Tourism manager Glenn Daley told ABC, residents were in a state of disbelief when news broke that Hemsworth had not only seen the campaign, but responded to it. “I was actually out in the paddock doing some farm stuff, and the assistant manager called and said, ‘we’ve got him’!”
Daley went on to add that should the 38-year-old Hollywood star make his visit to the town, Cowra locals would be pulling out all the stops to ensure his visit is a memorable one. “It’ll allow us to do more on the marketing campaign. Not only that, we need some time to dust off the good china and give the town a bit of a once-over to make sure it’s Chris-worthy.”
“We’ll definitely take him out to dinner [and] have a couple of beers with him,” said Daley, thinking of the many ways Cowra could impress Hemsworth with its rustic, small-town charm. “I’d love to take him out onto (Wyangala) dam where he can have a surf.”
To have Hemsworth named an ambassador is no small feat, and it goes without saying that those in Cowra are already thinking of just how they might thank the star for his efforts in boosting the town’s profile. For Daley, he thinks such a thing demands a landmark devoted to the star and is proposing a 40-metre tall statue, measuring 10-metres wide. What will it be named, you ask? ‘The Chris’.
“I’m going to have to have a chat to him about that to see what his thoughts are,” Mr Daley said. “Obviously, now we can’t make it bald and fat because he is coming. We just need to make sure he’s comfortable with his likeness being used in Cowra.”