Sweet as! This year’s Schoolies will have a distinctive trans-Tasman flavour with a record number of New Zealand students packing their togs and jandals for the iconic Gold Coast celebration.
On the back of new events and target marketing in New Zealand from the original and largest Schoolies operator, schoolies.com, Kiwi arrivals would make up around 2% of the Schoolies influx in 2015 with the number expected to grow into the thousands in the years ahead.
CEO for schoolies.com Matt Lloyd said it was a positive start and the company would work on attracting greater numbers of New Zealand Schoolies into the future.
“Get ready to say Kia Ora because we’re about to welcome a lot more young New Zealand travellers to the Gold Coast for Schoolies,’’ Mr Lloyd said.
“New Zealand is a potentially very exciting market for us and we believe it’s great for the event to have a mix of different cultures and personalities, not to mention the economic benefits the greater international influx will bring to the region,’’ he said.
“New Zealand is now around 2% of our market but growing quickly – we think it has enormous scope,’’ he said.
The growth follows a schoolies.com marketing campaigns in New Zealand and a focus on improving events in week two, when most of the New Zealand school leavers who are usually 18 years and over will visit.
In partnership with Australia’s largest independent dance music label, Ministry of Sound, Schoolies.com has introduced the Gold Coast’s biggest all-ages beach festival, Schoolies Nation, for week two of Schoolies. Featuring a line up leading DJs and hip hop acts from Australia and New Zealand, the festival is part of Schoolies Tour – a seven-night extravaganza featuring 50 plus artists across four stages including a beach stage and associated clubs.
Mr Lloyd said Schoolies Nation, now in its second year, had been a major driver for interstate and now New Zealand Schoolies. He said it had turned what was a traditionally a quieter period of Schoolies Week on its head, offering non-stop action and the opportunity to celebrate in a safe, fun and memorable way.
Approximately 30,000 Schoolies will descend on the Gold Coast from November 21, injecting in the order of $48 million into the local economy.Mr Lloyd said Schoolies spent, on average, $1600 each comprising approximately $600 for accommodation and $1000 for entertainment, food and other items.
Schoolies.com itself contributes over $1.6 million annually on additional security patrols, 24 hour helpline for students, parents and property managers, exclusive Schoolies only events and more.
“An enormous amount of planning and effort goes into ensuring all relevant emergency and security staff are on site, making sure the event is an enjoyable experience not only for Schoolies but for local businesses and residents as well,’’ Mr Lloyd said.