Prices for accommodation at some of the Gold Coast’s nicest hotels have been slashed to as low as $85 a night in a bid to attract domestic tourists. The promotion, called the ‘Get Some Gold Coast Sun Sale’ is being run by Tourism Queensland, Gold Coast Tourism and online hotel booking agent wotif.com.au and started yesterday. The sale will be on until September 11 but the cheap accommodation deals will extend to stays in December.
Tourism heavyweights, who admit the Gold Coast is going through a tourism slump, hope the cheap deals will be a winner, particularly during the September school holidays. The campaign will be heavily promoted in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane and will be aimed at luring the domestic tourism market, which has taken a hit because of the international airfare war luring visitors to the US and UK for less than $1000.
“People have become increasingly price conscious in recent times and this campaign is a fantastic price-led enticement for people to escape the rat race and take a break in one of Australia’s greatest holiday playgrounds,” said Tourism Minister Peter Lawlor yesterday.
More consumers than ever book their holidays online and campaigns like this help boost awareness of the Gold Coast and also translate into bookings.” Gold Coast Tourism spokesman Ben Pole said the Gold Coast was in need of a pre-Christmas business boost.
Tourism Queensland CEO Anthony Hayes said although the campaign was targeted at accommodation providers, other tourism businesses like theme parks, food retailers and tour operators would also benefit.
Meanwhile, the Australian Tourism Export Council is pushing for Australia to become a leading medical tourism destination and win a slice of the $12 billion health tourism market.
Medical tourism guru Wei Siang Yu, from Fly Free for Health, told the ATEC conference in Cairns yesterday that Australia could easily become the largest ‘second opinion’ destination for medical tourists thanks to its top health care and positioning within the region.
Dr Wei said ‘doctor shopping’, where people sought up to six medical opinions ahead of treatment from diseases like cancer and pediatric services, was standard practice in South-East Asian countries where residents did not trust their country’s health care. He said countries like India, Singapore and Thailand had spawned lucrative health tourism industries to service an estimated $180 billion worldwide market.
ATEC managing director Matt Hingerty said health and wellness tourism was an untapped sector that would cater for the world’s ageing population.