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Race from snowy London to sunny Queensland

08 March 2018

Snowy London provided the perfect backdrop to showcase sunny Queensland last Friday as Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ) partnered with STA Travel UK to stage a race across the city.

About 50 participants raced between seven different STA stores in a quest to win a trip to Queensland for the GC2018 Commonwealth Games.

TEQ Chief Executive Officer Leanne Coddington, who was in London for the event, said the activity was part of a $400,000AUD ‘Game on Queensland’ youth marketing campaign underway in the UK.

“This was a fun, but very pointed promotion that couldn’t have been better timed to have participants wishing they were in the warm tropical climate of Queensland instead of snowy London,” Ms Coddington said.

“As the world prepares to focus on the Gold Coast for the Commonwealth Games next month, TEQ has coordinated activations around the world over the past twelve months, with more to come, to leverage that heightened awareness and desire for Queensland’s unique tourism experiences,” she said.

“The GC2018 Commonwealth Games will be Australia’s biggest event this decade, cementing Queensland as the best place to experience major events.

“The Games is more than a chance to promote the Gold Coast, it’s an opportunity to showcase all of Queensland’s destinations and the diverse and unique experiences international travellers can enjoy.”

Participants in the STA race had to collect stamps on a mini-passport at each of seven STA stores across London, with giveaways and exclusive Queensland offers available along the way to inspire participants to get to the finish line.

Zoe Smith from Team England was also there to kick off proceedings at the starting line.

Zoe made history as she became the first English woman to win a weightlifting medal at the Commonwealth Games, winning bronze in the women's 58kg category.

The ultimate winner of the STA race – who used his bike to finish the race in just over two hours – was Nick Churcher, a Londoner working for a start-up investment company having graduated two years ago from Cambridge.

With STA Travel the official travel partner of Team England, the prize includes return flights courtesy of TEQ and an exclusive behind the scenes experience of GC2018 with Team England including access to the Team England Clubhouse and Team England events. 

Over 400 athletes and around 200 officials – England’s largest team to ever represent the nation in an overseas sporting event – are attending the Games.

“We’re delighted to be able to share the beautiful beaches, stunning hinterland, unbeatable outdoor lifestyle and famous hospitality of the Gold Coast when our winner Nick visits next month, as indeed we are looking forward to welcoming the world to the best address on earth,” Ms Coddington said. 

Tim Fryer, STA Travel Country Manager for France and UK, said he was appreciative of the aspiring travellers who braved the weather to win a trip to Queensland. 

“It is inspiring seeing so many people with such interesting stories behind them group together and challenge themselves to this journey around London,” Mr Fryer said. 

“The day was a success and a fantastic opportunity for people around the UK to put their athletic and travelling dreams to the test by challenging themselves in the snow to kick-start the adventure.”


About STA Travel:

STA Travel is the world’s largest youth travel company and has been spreading love, peace and adventure since 1979. Employing over 2,000 passionate people in 11 amazing countries, we work with like-minded franchisees and licensed partners, creating thrilling adventures and experiences in more than 50 countries. Our retail division will stretch your brain (and you) farther than you thought it could go and there are over 270 branches to visit with presence in almost every country from A – Z. Australia, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Japan, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand, United Kingdom and United States and New Zealand are just some of our retail spaces. We are privately owned by Diethelm Keller Group in Switzerland and that means we do things that are right for our customers – making sure that each and every experience chosen is beyond your wildest dreams.