ROYAL VISIT: Tourism boom to fol­low

Fraser Coast Chronicle - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

Photo: Con­trib­uted

SEAL OF AP­PROVAL: USC ex­perts claim the Royal visit will give the Fraser Coast a unique brand­ing.

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