Article Title:Queenstown Gay Ski Week
Category:New Zealand Daily News
Author or News Staff
Published on:29th July 2003 - 12:00 pm
Story ID:1958
Text:An exciting new event with the potential to develop into a key international happening on the gay calendar gets underway in Queenstown next week. The inaugural 2003 Queenstown Gay Ski Week, August 2nd to 9th, is the result of a changing climate in the resort town, organiser Mike Sanford says. "Gay ski weeks are now major events around the world including Aspen, Austria, Whistler, Swiss Alps and the European gay ski week. Queenstown's Gay Ski Week came about after we established the town's first gay website support from local business people and the community in Queenstown has been overwhelming and proved to us that the town was ready to embrace the gay market and the ‘pink' dollar." In addition to attracting strong bookings from Auckland and Sydney, the event has also won support from the town's tourism and business sectors for its potential to develop Australian markets in particular. Destination Queenstown chief executive officer David Kennedy says “Sydney is home to the second biggest gay community in the world, known for its high disposable dollars and interest for travel. Gay Ski Week is an ideal marketing vehicle to lift the profile of Queenstown amongst the gay community and to take full advantage of direct air links between Queenstown and Sydney". Commerce Queenstown chief executive Nick Lambert comments, “I think there is huge potential in this market DINKS (double income no kids). I spent twelve years in Sydney and saw the benefits that this market generated. Queenstown has so much to offer being a market segment that fits in with Tourism New Zealand's strategy of higher yielding markets that stayed longer and spent more". Mike Sanford says it's also proved attractive to corporate sponsors, a number of which have contacted him directly to get involved. "Gay ski week has the potential to become a major event and revenue earner for Queenstown and New Zealand, on a similar scale to the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras".    
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