Lonely Planet Writer

Hollywood actor Chris Hemsworth is inviting Americans to visit him Down Under

Today is Australia Day, and Hollywood actor Chris Hemsworth brought a touch of Aussie magic with him when he visited New York earlier this week to invite Americans to visit Down Under. The 33-year-old from Melbourne, who has been playing Thor in the Marvel Cinematic Universe since 2011, became Australia’s global tourism ambassador last January.

Chris Hemsworth speaks onstage during a Virtual Tour of Australia in NYC. Image: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images
Chris Hemsworth speaks onstage during a Virtual Tour of Australia in NYC. Image: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

Hemsworth gave a private “virtual tour” of Australia at the G’Day USA event at Hudson Mercantile. It was attended by VIPs Naomi Watts, Deborra-Lee Furness and Rebecca Breeds, along with Australian tourism minister Steven Ciobo and a host of travel agents.

Naomi Watts attends a Virtual Tour of Australia in NYC. Image: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images
Naomi Watts attends a Virtual Tour of Australia in NYC. Image: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

The event showcased 18 virtual reality experiences, and had videos showing some of Australia’s most exciting food, wine and natural wonders. It was MCed by Australian actor Rachel Griffiths.

Chris Hemsworth and Rachel Griffiths speak onstage during a Virtual Tour of Australia in NYC. Image: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images
Chris Hemsworth and Rachel Griffiths speak onstage during a Virtual Tour of Australia in NYC. Image: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

Hemsworth spoke about his ambassador role during the event, and described some of his journeys around Australia with his family. These included experiencing the outback of Uluru, diving the Great Barrier Reef and exploring the islands and beaches of The Whitsundays.

A Virtual Tour of Australia in NYC at Hudson Mercantile. Image: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images
A Virtual Tour of Australia in NYC at Hudson Mercantile. Image: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

The US is Australia’s fourth largest inbound market for visitor arrivals at present, and American tourists spent $3.75 billion in the country during 2016. Arrivals have crossed the 700,000 mark in the past 12 months, which is an increase of 18.3%. If Chris Hemsworth’s star quality works its magic, there is likely to be a further influx of Americans wanting to come to a land down under!

A view of the presentation screens at a Virtual Tour of Australia in NYC. Image: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images
A view of the presentation screens at a Virtual Tour of Australia in NYC. Image: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

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