Gold Coast updates Wellington agents Featured

More than 202,000 Kiwis travelled to the Gold Coast in the 2017 calendar year and that number is predicted to rise as Virgin and Air New Zealand announce plans to add capacity. ‘We are feeling quite bullish about growth’, says Michael Thurston, Global Partnership Manager for Destination Gold Coast.

Speaking at the Destination Gold Coast roadshow, in Wellington recently, Thurston said the message for the Kiwi trade is to upsell the destination. ‘The reason why is that the Gold Coast is not just about sunshine and beautiful beaches, it’s about all the things that you can do here and about how the product is ever changing and upgrading. There’s always a reason to come back.’ Thurston says on average Kiwis stay eight nights on a Gold Coast holiday and spend $143 per day in the destination, not including accommodation. ‘So that’s the message for the Kiwi trade, to show your destination knowledge and add a bit of colour to your client’s holiday.’

Dreamworld’s Craig Undery described two new attractions about to open at the theme park. Following the movie fame Dreamworks Trolls Village, an interactive walk-through experience, is opening in June. ‘That’s why I’m wearing this silly hat,’ says Undery. And I-Ride, the Southern Hemisphere’s first ‘flying theatre’ just like the one at Disneyland, will open in time for Christmas. Visitors could also contribute to Dreamworld’s international tiger conservation programme by participating in a Cub Encounter with the park’s two baby tiger cubs, Melati and Mya, he added. Meanwhile Air New Zealand’s KellyAnn Patterson told the 35 retailers at the roadshow breakfast that they would need to book their Air New Zealand Gold Coast-bound clients via Christchurch or Auckland for a brief period later this year while route changes are put into place. ‘There will be a grey area between 28 October and 16 December when there will be no direct Wellington/Brisbane flights.’