Ten international students have taken on ten different Gold Coast adventures as part of an innovative competition to investigate the effect of social media as a tourism marketing tool.

Dutch student Amber Gulamali ultimately took out the top prize after her blog on a surf lesson at Get Wet Surf Club proved most popular among more than 2000 online voters.

The competition was developed by Griffith University business student Lucy Frank through an internship with Gold Coast Adventure Travel Group.

The 19-year-old from Southport developed and implemented a social media campaign aimed at attracting international students based in Australia to holiday on the Gold Coast.


Students from Russia, Poland, Sweden, Netherlands, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Canada, Colombia, Norway and China each took part in one of the 10 adventure experiences, ranging from skydiving to stand-up paddle boarding to jet boating and a day at a wildlife sanctuary.

One lucky student signed up for some aerial acrobatics with Tiger Moth Joy Rides before remembering she was afraid of heights.

And the luckiest student of all, Amber Gulamali, a communication student at Griffith University, eventually won the chance to try out five of the adventures of her choice after her story was voted the most popular after a month-long online voting period.

Lucy Frank, a student of International Tourism and Hotel Management/Marketing, recorded and edited a one-minute video postcard of each participating student during the adventure experiences.

Lucy also required each participating student to wax lyrical about their adventure experience in a blog, written in English and in the student’s native language.

Gold Coast Adventure Travel Group posted the videos, photos and blogs on its social media channels inviting visitors to the GCATG Facebook page to vote for their favourite blog.

“We were aiming to achieve 1000 votes during the four weeks of the campaign. We got 2239 votes, a phenomenal response,” Lucy said.

“I believe wereceivedsuch a high number of votes because of the great levels of support from all the businesses and students involved in the campaign.

“The number of fans of the Gold Coast Adventure Travel page had risen significantly from the time we originally set campaign objectives to the time we launched the campaign. This accounts, in part, for the greater than expected number of votes.

“I was a bit overwhelmed by the project at first but I went about it like I would have gone about a university marketing project. I came to see how the things I did in university were relevant to the things I did in the workplace.

“What I thought would be easy was much harder than I expected, and a lot of coordination and planning goes into a project like this. The whole experience has helped me to understand a lot more about what we do in class.”