The Strip: articles

TV show The Strip seen as positive for Coast tourism

THE seedy side of the Gold Coast has been exposed the new Channel 9 production The Strip and tourism operators couldn't be happier.

Following the premiere of The Strip this week, the Gold Coast tourism industry is hoping the show will bring a wave of tourists to its shores.

The Strip, described as a crime drama which delves into the Gold Coast underworld, stars actors Frankie J. Holden, Aaron Jeffery and Simone McAullay.

The show debuted well this week and Channel 9 figures showed The Strip recorded the second highest ratings nationally on Thursday night, pulling in about 1,452,000 viewers.

Channel 7 News held the No.1 spot on Thursday, however, with about 1,569,000 viewers watching.

Closer to home, The Strip also did well. In the Brisbane region, which includes the Gold Coast, the show was the third most watched program on Thursday night, with about 317,000 viewers tuning in.

While this week's episode started with the bloody death of a window washer who fell from one of the Coast's iconic high-rises, Ben Pole of the Gold Coast Tourism Corporation said he thought the graphic content of the show would not harm the area's reputation as a leading family destination.

"They chose the Gold Coast not because of the criminal element but because it's a distinct city," Mr Pole said.

"I think audiences know how to distinguish what's true from what is fiction."

He said that like other crime dramas set in well-known tourist destinations, such as CSI: Miami and CSI: New York, the show would ultimately help promote the city.

The television series was shot in a variety of locations throughout the Gold Coast, including at the Sofitel Gold Coast at Broadbeach.

General manager Mark Wilkinson said he was happy his establishment had been included in the show.

"We did have some specifications about what they could do here - we didn't want any murder scenes, for example," Mr Wilkinson said. And it seems a trend may have been started at the Sofitel.

A Korean production company was at the hotel on Thursday night to film three top Korean chefs eating at the hotel's Room 81 restaurant.

Mr Pole said his group and the Gold Coast City Council remained committed to securing more television and film production opportunities.

"The Gold Coast is a big city but it's a sexy, energetic, action-packed city and that's the kind of feel many people have about the Gold Coast," he said.

"I think that's one of the things that makes it so popular for film and television."

By Torny Jensen
September 06, 2008
The Courier-Mail