The Australian timeshare industry and Jetstar have joined forces in a major collaborative partnership with New Zealand Rugby League in a trans-Tasman effort to support disaster affected communities and those helping to rebuild people’s lives across Queensland and in Christchurch, New Zealand.
The timeshare industry, with the majority of its companies headquartered on the Gold Coast and Jetstar, alongside the National Rugby League, New Zealand Rugby League and the Jetstar Gold Coast Titans, with support from the Queensland Government, will assist 250 fans from Christchurch to travel to the Gold Coast, to be part of a unique Rugby League “double header” on the weekend of May 6-8, 2011.
For the first time, Gold Coast will host a Rugby League Test between Australia and New Zealand on Friday May 6, followed by the NRL clash between the Jetstar Gold Coast Titans and New Zealand Warriors on Sunday May 8, at Skilled Stadium, Robina.
Jetstar will assist in bringing 250 fans from Christchurch – which was to be the original venue for the match – to the Gold Coast free of charge, and they will stay on for the NRL match on Sunday.
When looking for accommodation for the fans, Jetstar knew it was a big ask for 250 fans for three nights, especially on a weekend. The Australian Timeshare Holiday Ownership Council, (ATHOC) the governing body of the timeshare industry was approached, and immediately swung into action, contacting its member Companies to garner support.
Companies such as Classic Holidays, Dial An Exchange, Accor Vacation Club, Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific and Interval International responded in three hours with enough apartments to assist, despite having recorded record occupancy levels over the summer of 2010/11.
The flight and accommodation partnership will specifically target emergency crews and their families in Christchurch, allowing them the opportunity for a unique sporting holiday experience on Queensland’s Gold Coast.
The fans will be housed in one and two bed-roomed self-contained apartments, thanks to the might and spread of the timeshare industry that boasts a myriad resorts and hotels across Australia and New Zealand.
The welcome relief for fans will include emergency service personnel, Police, Fire, Ambulance and Defence services and Volunteers who have assisted in the rebuilding of Christchurch.
“We are a formidable group of accommodation providers, and the fact that so many Members immediately agreed to help with accommodation for this event, shows the depth of empathy felt for the people who have suffered through all these disasters,” said Laura Younger. General Manager of ATHOC.
“As part of the Vacation Ownership community based on the Gold Coast we are proud to be able support such a worthwhile cause,” said Craig Wood CEO of Accor Vacation Club.
Sean Farquhar of Interval International said: “Interval International is delighted to play a part in bringing a little joy into the lives of these rugby fans at such a difficult time.”
“This industry initiative is one we support wholeheartedly and are pleased to offer accommodation to Christchurch fans to help ease some of their recent pressure and make their Gold Coast visit very memorable,” said Barry Robinson, CEO and Managing Director Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific.
Francis Taylor, CEO, Dial An Exchange said: “There’s nothing like a game of Rugby bring out the ‘Anzac Spirit’ that has bound our nations since our early history. It’s in that spirit that we gladly support this fantastic effort.”
Ramy Filo, CEO, Classic Group said: “We are humbled to be able to help our friends in Christchurch. You’ll recover and re-grow from this tragedy and we know it will make you stronger. You have our support.”
ARL Chief Executive, Geoff Carr, said: “These games will provide a stage to honour the courage and spirit of all those people whose lives have been affected by the floods, Cyclone Yasi and the Christchurch earthquake.”
New Zealand Rugby League Chief Executive, Jim Doyle, said the entire Test week would be memorable for both its historic significance and for the chance to provide a little cheer for some people from Christchurch and Queensland.
The Queensland Government has given its support to send a clear message that the state is back in business as a sporting and tourist destination and thousands of interstate and overseas visitors are also expected to take advantage of special ticket packages for the double-header weekend.
The public can support this initiative by buying a ticket to the historic event. A special Category 3 ticket combo is available for just $50 for adults and $140 for families that includes the Test and the Titans v Warriors Telstra Premiership match.
Tickets are available from Ticketek on 132 849, at Ticketek outlets or online at www.ticketek.com.au from 9am AEST and from 10am AEDT on Thursday, March 24.