Tourism WA scraps George Calombaris from new campaign amid underpayment scandal

Tourism WA scraps George Calombaris from new campaign amid underpayment scandal

The situation for embattled celebrity chef and MasterChef Australia judge George Calombaris has gone from bad to worse, with Tourism WA dumping him from its latest marketing campaign.

Calombaris has been a regular feature in media headlines recently after he confessed to underpaying staff at restaurants under his hospitality group, MAdE Establishment, by $7.8 million, prompting a widespread backlash against the celebrity chef.

In a move to protect its brand, Tourism WA has since confirmed it has scrapped Calombaris from its domestic ‘Create Your Own Gourmet Escape in WA’ marketing campaign, which launched earlier this month and runs until the end of September.

The campaign included TV and digital ads featuring Calombaris, some of which can be viewed below:

George Calombaris in Tourism WA campaign

In a statement to Travel Weekly, a Tourism WA spokesperson said: “George Calombaris was a small part of a Tourism WA campaign encouraging people to visit the areas of the state that featured in the recent ‘WA Week’ on MasterChef Australia.

“Given the recent community response due to Mr Calombaris’ issues with the Fair Work Commission, we have paused the parts of the campaign that have featured him and we’re speaking with his management.”


What’s inside the egg? Click HERE to find out.

WA Tourism Minister Paul Papalia described Calombaris’ actions as “terrible”.

“People should pay their employees what they’re owed and what they deserve, and that’s really disappointing,” he said.

Travel Weekly understands that Tourism WA’s marketing contract with MasterChef – of which Calombaris is a judge on – was separate to its agreement with the celebrity chef.

The reality TV show featured a ‘WA Week’ series earlier this month to promote some of the state’s best local produce and attractions.


Latest News

  • Attractions

Pop Up North Queensland arts festival pioneering Performances and Projects

A performance marking First Nations’ history and connection to the water and land along Townsville’s famous Strand Promenade will take place on Thursday, August 1. This powerful event marks the opening of North Queensland’s place-based contemporary arts festival, PUNQ (Pop Up North Queensland) and begins a program where local, national and international artists activate and […]

  • Aviation
  • News

UPDATE: Crash compensation unlikely, says head of digital disruption payment system

Southern Cross Travel Insurance says it will be covering claimable losses caused by the Crowdstrike global network outage event, despite its own operations not being affected. “We will be covering claimable losses caused by this event, provided all other conditions and criteria for cover are met (and subject to any limits, sub-limits and/or any exclusions […]

  • Food & Beverage

Exciting culinary experiences across Asia

Here is a look at some exciting experiences across Asia to enhance traveller vacations in iconic cities across the continent. The Mai Restaurant at Meliá Chiang Mai Located on the 21st floor of the iconic hotel, the Mai Restaurant has launched a Thai-inspired afternoon tea for two that pays tribute to the Baan Tawai Wood […]

  • Regional
  • Tour Operators

On Foot Holidays launches Ligurian Hills hiking tour promotion

Australians can explore Italy’s Ligurian Hills on foot on a self-guided, inn-to-inn hike with Onn Foot Holidays new promotional rates. Liguria is a coastal region in north-western Italy near the French border, known for its mountains, rolling hills and seaside ports. On Foot Holidays’ seven-night holiday begins with two days of walking through vineyards and […]

  • Products

Mandarin Oriental takes a dive into swimwear with $360 board shorts

If you were inspired by The Inspired Unemployed’s Liam Moore limited-edition pair of Budgy Smugglers but want a bit more coverage, then here’s your chance. The Orlebar Brown brand has introduced an original design of the Bulldog swim short for Mandarin Oriental hotels – yours for a snip at US$242.25 (AU$360). They have been “designed […]

  • Health & Wellness
  • Luxury

Trisara showcases sustainable dining via wellspring program

Phuket-based resort Trisara is transporting guests from resort to farm to table then back again courtesy of a new limited-time program, Wellspring. The package is a collaboration with Tri Vananda, a US$182 million (AU $270 million) wellness community in northern Phuket, conceived by Montara Hospitality Group, the owners of Trisara. In addition to entitling guests […]

  • Aviation

Emirates SkyCargo expands fleet with five Boeing 777 freighters

Emirates SkyCargo announced an investment of US$1 billion (AU$1.484b) to expand its fleet with an order of five new Boeing 777 freighters. The investment follows a strong performance in the first quarter of the 2024/25 financial year. Emirates SkyCargo expects the new freighters to increase its capacity by 30 per cent. The increase enables the […]