Hon Paul Papalia CSC MLA

Hon Paul Papalia CSC MLA

Minister for Tourism; Racing and Gaming; Small Business; Defence Issues; Citizenship and Multicultural Interests

    Former Tourism Australia head and architect of viral Superbowl ad joining Tourism WA Board

    20/06/2020 8:00 AM
    • John O'Sullivan to join Tourism Western Australia's Board of Commissioners
    • O'Sullivan led Tourism Australia when it launched the successful viral Superbowl advertisement starring Chris Hemsworth
    • Australia achieved record visitor arrivals and spend during O'Sullivan's tenure
    • O'Sullivan has 25 years of experience in senior travel, tourism, media, sport and entertainment roles 

    The former Tourism Australia boss and architect of the wildly successful Superbowl advertisement featuring Chris Hemsworth and a host of Australian Hollywood stars is set to join the board of Tourism Western Australia.


    John O'Sullivan was managing director of Tourism Australia for five years to 2019, where he presided over a period of record international visitor arrivals and spend into the country.


    He led Tourism Australia when it launched the innovative mock Crocodile Dundee sequel advertisement during the 2018 Superbowl.


    The advertisement was pitched as a sequel to the iconic 1980s film - but later revealed as a viral marketing campaign to promote Australian tourism.


    It was seen by 100 million Americans initially and millions more as it went viral around the world - generating tens of millions of dollars of exposure for Australia's tourism sector.


    Mr O'Sullivan has 25 years of experience in senior travel, tourism, media, sport and entertainment roles, and is currently chief executive of the ASX-listed Experience Co - one of Australia's leading adventure tourism companies.


    He has held senior roles at Fox Sports Australia, Football Federation Australia and Events Queensland, and sits on the boards of Experience Co and the Super Netball competition.


    Mr O'Sullivan joins the board on July 1, 2020 for an initial one-year term.


    Comments attributed to Tourism Minister Paul Papalia:


    "It is my pleasure to welcome John O'Sullivan to Tourism WA. John's expertise and credentials are well established, with his work on the 2018 Superbowl advertisement generating terrific exposure for Australian tourism.


    "Last year Western Australia enjoyed its own Chris Hemsworth-inspired success with his record-breaking quokka selfie - and we look forward to working with John on further innovative ways to promote WA.


    "During his time with Tourism Australia, he oversaw record growth in international visitor arrivals and spend.


    "Western Australian tourism was enjoying similar highs before the onset of COVID-19, and John's knowledge will be of great value as we plot the industry's recovery into the future.


    "His work with Tourism Australia to strengthen efforts to attract Chinese, Indian and United States tourists aligns well with Tourism WA's goals, and will assist the local industry to re-engage with the international market when the time comes."


    Minister's office - 6552 5600