This Small Town in Australia Launched a Campaign to Convince Chris Hemsworth to Visit — and It Worked

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People in the pub holding up beers with Chris masks on.
People in the pub holding up beers with Chris masks on.

Courtesy of Cowra Tourism Corporation

When planning a trip to Australia, most travelers have Sydney or Melbourne top of mind, but the small town of Cowra is vying for more attention, starting with a new video campaign enticing Chris Hemsworth to visit. The ad went viral, and now, the Australian actor seems interested in the offer.

The #GetChrisToCowra campaign launched last week with a video featuring representatives from the town's tourism board, as well as residents inviting Hemsworth to enjoy the destination's many offerings. Throughout the video, the people of Cowra — some actual residents, some actors — are shown making appearances in Thor costumes, covering their office walls with Hemsworth's movie posters, and donning masks with the actor's face. They even propose building a giant, four-story statue of Hemsworth, who's best known for his role as Thor in the Marvel films.

Related: Can't-miss Places to Visit in Australia, According to Australians

Tourism officials holding up the big chris blueprints
Tourism officials holding up the big chris blueprints

Courtesy of Cowra Tourism Corporation

"Well, what if [Chris] doesn't come?" someone asks in the video. The response: "We'll still build it. We'll just make him bald and fat."

Spearheaded by Cowra Tourism manager Glenn Daley, the entire campaign, which has its own website and social media channels, was mostly intended to be a joke. According to CNN, Daley was touched by how his idea was received by the community.

"I didn't realize how much the town needs a boost," he told CNN. "Everyone is getting on board."

Tourism officials on the side of the road with signs.
Tourism officials on the side of the road with signs.

Courtesy of Cowra Tourism Corporation

Though the video is full of funny moments, it also sneaks in plenty of information about Cowra, including things to do, places to see, and food to try. Some highlights include strolling the tranquil Japanese Garden, admiring the picturesque canola fields, enjoying some thrills at the adventure park perfect for kids (Hemsworth has three), surfing at Byron Bay, sipping locally made wine, and learning history at the prisoner of war campsite.

As the video also highlights, Cowra is approximately two hours from Canberra, four hours from Sydney, and seven hours from Melbourne — faster if you fly, of course.

And while the video going viral was a major accomplishment for the Cowra Tourism team, the biggest win came when Hemsworth, who is actually Australia's national celebrity tourism ambassador, shared the video on his Instagram account.

"Big love to all the folks in Cowra for this amazing campaign, warmed my heart and made me smile!" he wrote. "I'm off shooting a film overseas soon, but upon return next year, I'm comin in hot!!"

For more details about the town, head to the Visit Cowra website. And to keep up with the #GetChrisToCowra efforts, check out the campaign website.

Jessica Poitevien is a Travel + Leisure contributor currently based in South Florida, but she's always on the lookout for her next adventure. Besides traveling, she loves baking, talking to strangers, and taking long walks on the beach. Follow her adventures on Instagram.

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