THE WINNERS AND LOSERS FROM SCHOOLIES WEEK
Written on the 19 November 2012
ANNUAL schoolies celebrations attract mixed feelings among the Surfers Paradise business community, according to the precinct's marketing body.
Surfers Paradise Alliance chair Laura Younger (pictured) reveals while many businesses capitalise on the influx of about 30,000 school leavers who bring millions of dollars in spending money, others are experiencing one of the worst trading periods of 2012.
The precinct is also grappling with negative perceptions blamed on media coverage of schoolies.
“Anytime you get 30,000 people in the one place it will be a driver for the economy,” says Younger.
“Schoolies does bring a lot of students in, but results in some bad media for the precinct and does stop other people who would have been coming to Surfers from making the trip because it is a little bit too rowdy.”
She says there has been no official study into the economic impact of schoolies.
“There is always a mixed feeling towards schoolies because there is such a mixed benefit – some really benefit from it, others find it the worst trading period of the year,” she says.
Takeaway shops, cheap restaurants, clothing shops and supermarkets are the biggest winners from schoolies, while high-end restaurants and other activities typically suffer.
Younger says Mantra – which has launched cleanest room competitions for its schoolies guests and Hard Rock Café, which this year implemented pre-purchased meal vouchers – are businesses that have successfully engaged with schoolies.
She says it is important to understand Schoolies activities on the foreshore are classed as a “response”, rather than an “event” by the Queensland Government, which bankrolls them.
“It is a genuine response to make things safer while the young people are in town,” she says.
She advises against government funding cuts to schoolies response measures.
“To stop funding Chill out Zone would be just crazy, it is such good service, which eliminates the need for ambulance and other state services to come out – and therefore saves money overall,” she says.