‘Rea­son­ably Priced’ Aus­tralian Des­ti­na­tion

Of­fer­ing the best prices on ac­com­mo­da­tion and hav­ing ac­tiv­i­ties to meet all bud­gets with value and qual­ity, the Gold Coast is woo­ing the In­dian in­cen­tive trav­eller. MICEtalk spoke to Martin Win­ter, Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer, Aus­tralia’s Gold Coast Tourism C

Micetalk - - YOURS OFFICIALLY - De­vika Jeet

How do you dif­fer­en­ti­ate be­tween Gold Coast as a leisure or MICE des­ti­na­tion?

Gold Coast is fa­mous for leisure but it also has an out­stand­ing op­por­tu­nity and at­trac­tions for MICE. How­ever from the in­cen­tive mar­ket, we do really well since Goal Coast has so many things to of­fer. Mainly, it’s be­cause of the num­ber of mem­o­rable ac­tiv­i­ties avail­able for an in­cen­tive group. In the 70km coast­line, you can opt for hot air bal­loon­ing, jet boat­ing, go deep-water fish­ing, high per­for­mance car rac­ing, sky­div­ing, bridge climb, to name a few. Apart from th­ese high en­ergy, high-oc­tane, in­cen­tive ac­tiv­i­ties we of­fer other ex­pe­ri­ences, such as, themed evening at a pri­vate is­land. Dur­ing win­ter, we of­fer whale watch­ing.

It’s the ‘wow’ ex­pe­ri­ence that we of­fer which you can­not get any­where else. And putting them to­gether in itin­er­ar­ies, one can get really good deals at the Gold Coast. We also have the best prices in ac­com­mo­da­tion, which is about 30 per cent cheaper than Bri Bris­bane and 35 per cent cheaper than Syd­ney (on av­er­age for s sim­i­lar ac­com­mo­da­tion). Gold Coast is a very af­ford­able des­ti­na­tion. destin

What has been the re­sponse from the In­dian mar­ket so far?

In the 12-month pe­riod end­ing Septem­ber, we

have seen a 24 per cent in­crease in the num­ber

of In­dian vis­i­tors, pri­mar­ily for MICE. We’ve had large groups in the past too from In­dia, but we found the In­dian mar­ket very frag­mented and not easy to pen­e­trate.

Now we are work­ing with the trade through Tourism Aus­tralia. Last year we had 14, 000 In­dian vis­i­tors come to the Gold coast and around 80 per cent came with in­cen­tives as their fo­cus. It’s the mar­ket we be­lieve in.

How would you po­si­tion Gold Coast in In­dia?

We pro­mote Gold Coast as a di­verse des­ti­na­tion with

a lot of things to do and lots of choices at dif­fer­ent price points. It’s not just a surf­ing des­ti­na­tion. We have lots of good In­dian food restau­rants. A lot of ho­tels are tuned to the re­quire­ment of In­di­ans, mak­ing your stay more com­fort­able.

Gold Coast really comes alive af­ter dark. In­di­ans

love to party and there is more to do here than

any­where in Aus­tralia. We have a fan­tas­tic casino,

which even has Las Ve­gas per­form­ers putting up shows. We have the Surfers’ Par­adise, which is the cap­i­tal of our af­ter-hours fun in Aus­tralia, clubs,

dis­cothe­ques, restau­rants and a lot of places to shop.

Where does In­dia fit in as a source mar­ket for the re­gion? What ben­e­fits do you of­fer In­dian MICE groups?

In­dia is per­ceived as a sec­ond tier source mar­ket,

but it’s grow­ing rapidly. A growth of 24 per cent is re­mark­able. How­ever in vol­ume, China is the fastest grow­ing mar­ket, but our big­gest source mar­ket is still New Zealand.

We con­tinue to part­ner with Busi­ness Events Syd­ney to at­tract more In­dian groups. Usu­ally, In­dian groups don’t want a mono des­ti­na­tion. So, Syd­ney

pro­vides the city ex­pe­ri­ence and we pro­vide the fun.

We pri­mar­ily work with the trade through ded­i­cated sales calls to all key agents. We also pro­vide in­cen­tives through fa­mil­iari­sa­tions. We

don’t give any fi­nan­cial in­cen­tives, but large groups will get some in the form of off­sets de­pend­ing on the size of the group. Th­ese off­sets in­clude gifts and ser­vices. For a group of 1,000 In­di­ans, the sup­port we pro­vide will be around AUD 50,000. De­pend­ing on the group, our sup­port is ap­prox­i­mately AUD 50 to 100 per per­son.

Our past fig­ures show that an in­ter­na­tional con­ven­tion del­e­gate spends US$ 3,600 on a five-day pe­riod in Aus­tralia. Cal­cu­lat­ing this to two days, it’s ap­prox­i­mately US $1,500 and that in­cludes food, trans­porta­tion, ac­com­mo­da­tion, in­ter­nal air­fare and daily spend­ing. Leisure trav­ellers spend less than half of that.

Bret Lee is from the Gold Coast and we can also

mar­ket the des­ti­na­tion in In­dia dur­ing sport­ing events.

For pure mar­ket­ing, around 10 per cent of our global

bud­get is fo­cussed on In­dia

Ac­cord­ing to you, what are the top three ex­clu­sive op­por­tu­ni­ties in Gold Coast?

First is def­i­nitely Q1. It of­fers a 360-de­gree view of the

hin­ter­land, city and ocean. The prop­erty gives the best in­tro­duc­tion to the Gold Coast. Next, would be get­ting up-close with the cud­dly koala. Dif­fer­ent in­ter­ac­tions with an­i­mals are ex­pe­ri­ences dear to the re­gion and usu­ally en­joyed by all. Lastly our nightlife, which

in­cludes casi­nos and shows. See­ing the abo­rig­i­nal

cul­ture and in­ter­act­ing with the lo­cal peo­ple is also

some­thing unique. Gold Coast has 65,000 beds and is a very af­ford­able des­ti­na­tion. We con­tinue to of­fer value and qual­ity.

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