22 March 2004
SYDNEY – Australian tourism officials got less than they bargained for when a celebrity German television presenter they were hosting in Queensland was reduced to tears by the Florida-style over-development of the once charming Gold Coast.
Alexandra Kamp, the model turned actor who is a guest presenter for German cable channel N-TV, told a Gold Coast newspaper that unbridled building since she last visited four years ago had made her weep.
“I was shocked to see all this development that is happening,” Kamp told the Gold Coast Bulletin. “It’s a shame to see how fast the high rises have gone up. I cried actually coming from Byron Bay.”
Queensland Tourism and the Australian Tourism Commission, which jointly sponsored the nine-day jaunt, refused comment on Kamp’s honest appraisal of the Gold Coast’s charms.
Only last week Queensland Tourism Minister Margaret Keech was eagerly promoting the good publicity that Kamp’s trip would generate.
“No doubt her enthusiasm will send a clear message to German travellers to choose Queensland as their ideal holiday destination,” Keech told Australia’s AAP news agency.
N-TV’s “This Is My Australia” will broadcast the Queensland segment next month to an estimated audience of two million. Popular tourist locations will star in five 30-minute episodes of the show, with each episode having a different German celebrity as host.
Subject: German news