Voice of Siri
Voice of Siri

Famous voice to navigate massive tourism campaign

The voice of Siri will help visitors navigate the Whitsundays in the region's biggest-ever tourism campaign.

Karen Jacobsen, best known as being the Australian voice of the popular GPS assistant, has fled her coronavirus-ravaged adopted home in the US to return to her roots on the central Queensland coast and jumped at the chance to work in the $1 million Wonders of the Whitsundays campaign, which officially launches today.

Australia's Voice of Siri Karen Jacobsen who has come home to the Whitsundays from New York and is promoting the region in a new tourism campaign. Picture: Lachie Millard
Australia's Voice of Siri Karen Jacobsen who has come home to the Whitsundays from New York and is promoting the region in a new tourism campaign. Picture: Lachie Millard

"We were leaving New York, our home for 20 years as the COVID pandemic started to unfold, and I felt an overwhelming urge to come home to the Whitsunday region," said Ms Jacobsen, who grew up in Mackay.

"After seeing what the pandemic did to tourism here, I was eager to lend my voice to help reignite the industry.

"I think the campaign is a fun way of getting the Whitsundays' message out.

"I have seen first-hand how vital tourism is to this region, as it is one of the main economic drivers and employers - this region is at its best when visitors are here."

Not sure when she will be able to return to the US where she has forged a successful entertainment career spanning more than two decades, Ms Jacobsen has enrolled her American-born son in a local school and is grateful that Queensland has so far escaped the worst of the impact sweeping the globe.

Australia's Voice of Siri Karen Jacobsen at Whitehaven Beach in the Whitsundays. Picture: Lachie Millard.
Australia's Voice of Siri Karen Jacobsen at Whitehaven Beach in the Whitsundays. Picture: Lachie Millard.

Tourism Whitsundays CEO Tash Wheeler said it was a major coup to land 'Siri' as the voice of the new campaign.

"I can't think of a more recognisable and trusted voice than Karen's, she has been providing information to users all over the country and now, as a fun tongue-in-cheek way, she will be navigating radio listeners with the best advice," she said.

Tourism in the Whitsundays has been decimated by border restrictions robbing the region of crucial interstate and international visitors, but business has picked up since the start of the school holidays last month.

It is hoped NSW travellers will be able to visit within weeks if the southern state can nullify the spread of the virus, with the goal to return visitor numbers to levels not seen since before Cyclone Debbie more than three years ago.

The campaign will roll out across Queensland and NSW from today with other states and territories to be added in coming weeks.


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