It has been a long and mild end to the summer season in Tasmania. However, with the evenings getting longer and the temperatures inevitably dropping, a working visit to the Gold Coast presented the opportunity to extend this ‘indian summer’ by a few more days.
I’ve never been a huge fan of ‘Goldie’, as it has always seemed to me to represent the worst of North American town planning – endless strip development and overreliance on the motor vehicle to get around. But there is no doubting that the climate at this time of year is seductive – the days are still hovering in the mid twenties and the sun is shining. The evenings are cool enough to sleep soundly, but not so cool as to require a jacket. The following shots were taken from my balcony at the Meriton Broadbeach Apartments; sadly, looking at the pool from there was as close as I managed to get:-(
And those beaches are epic, stretching as far as the eye can see, from Tweed Heads on the New South Wales border, up the coast and well on the way to Brisbane. Then there’s the locals. I have always found Queensland people, especially those in the south east of the state, to be effortlessly friendly and helpful. I don’t mean in a way that is a result of training or an effort to ensure a decent tip, either. Even outside the tourism and hospitality industry, people in shops and even on the street have always struck me as willing to be accommodating and being comfortable and in no way obsequious while doing so.
Add a couple of thousand tourism professionals from all over the world attending Australian Tourism Exchange, one of the Southern Hemisphere’s largest annual trade events and it was bound to be a happy week, full of laughter and smiles – amid all the hard work, of course. Naturally, I took my camera along, although I didn’t have much time to use it. Most of these shots were in early morning scrambles to the beach for a quick swim (the water too was still hovering around 23 degrees).
Just to prove the trip was indeed work-related, here are some shots of the action inside the Gold Coast Convention Centre. Australian Tourism Exchange is an annual event that brings travel agents and wholesalers from all over the globe to Australia to meet with our tourism operators. There are almost 100 scheduled meetings per operator over four days, each lasting just 15 minutes. Each state and territory has a central stand with its operators ranged about it in booths.
Naturally, at the end of a busy week of business meetings, everyone needs to celebrate and let their hair down a little at the farewell function. Here’s some fun with some of my esteemed colleagues.