ROYAL VISIT: Tourism boom to follow
TOURISM operators can expect a wave of new visitors after Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan’s visit to Fraser Island. The “royal branding” the region will receive is set to create a major influx of tourists.
PRINCE Harry and Duchess Meghan’s upcoming visit to Fraser Island will give the world-heritage listed site a “royal” branding set to generate a new wave of international interest, according to tourism experts.
The surprise announcement from the Royals last Tuesday has been lauded by the Fraser Coast’s business and tourism operators, with the newlyweds stopping on the island on October 22 as part of their Down Under tour.
Leading tourism experts from USC claim the visit will create a massive publicity opportunity worth millions of dollars.
Fraser Coast USC lecturer Shahab Pourfakhimi, whose research specialises in e-tourism, tourism marketing and tourism destination branding, said the visit would mean Fraser Island would have another “high-level” market on which to capitalise.
“The most important thing is that Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan are considered global trendsetters,” Mr Pourfakhimi said.
“So they will end up changing the way the market operates in the area, because they’re selecting that destination for a holiday.
“That alone will create a new wave of interest in to Fraser Island.”
USC tourism lecturer Dr Vikki Schaffer said the pair’s visit could bring tens of millions of dollars into the region’s businesses. She compared the visit with Prince Charles’s visit to Bundaberg earlier this year, which brought an estimated $10 million boost to tourism.
“It’s a fantastic ripple effect, so those people that visit will go home and say what happened, and that positive wordof-mouth spreads,” Dr Schaffer said.
“We’re seeing more development in the Fraser Coast area, so this extra attention will help this continued growth.”
During their visit, the royal couple will participate in engagements focussing on the environment, local history and sustainable tourism.
Their visit is based around the Invictus Games schedule, an international sporting event for injured and ill veterans founded by Prince Harry.
The pair will also visit Sydney, Melbourne, Dubbo, Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand.
SEAL OF APPROVAL: USC experts claim the Royal visit will give the Fraser Coast a unique branding.