12 August 2008

QLD tourism board walks down the international wedding aisle

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The Queensland tourism board is imploring tour operators to put their best wedding-foot forward in an attempt to attract more international weddings and honeymoons to the state, reports the Couriermail.

State Tourism Minister Desley Boyle said the honeymoon market from France and Italy is crucial to Queensland’s tourism industry.  At Italy’s biggest wedding and bridal show in October later this year, Queensland will be taking centre stage to show of its best wedding attractions to the European market. 

"Tourism Queensland's Europe office said that, anecdotally, between 80 per cent and 90 per cent of their business to Australia is for honeymoon travel," she told reporters.

Europe, Japan, China, Korea and India will be targeted by a new promotional campaign, which will use magazine advertising, music videos, and reality dating television shows to entice couples to the Sunshine State.

Tanya Sophios from Oceania Weddings in the Gold Coast told the Couriermail her company’s focus has had to adapt to the changing demands of the tourism market.  Previously, Oceania Weddings planned international weddings for only Japanese nationals, however now the China/Hong Kong market is now its primary focus.  She added that the number of Chinese weddings has grown from two per month in 2002 to sixty a month this year.

The Whitsundays, Gold Coast and North Queensland are the most popular wedding and honeymoon destinations for Asian couples, with the north Queensland economy enjoying a $25 million annual injection into the economy from the industry.

Bridal parties holding passports from Europe, Japan, Hong Kong and South Korea can use Australia’s world-renowned Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) to apply for a short-stay tourist visa.  The ETA is regarded as one of the most streamlined travel authorisation systems, and in most cases visas can be granted in seconds online. 

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people apply for an Australia visa.

Article by Jessica Bird, Australian Visa Bureau.

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