If you caught Channel Seven’s What Really Happens on the Gold Coast show last night, you might be forgiven for thinking it’s a sizzling hotspot brimming with booty-shakers, money-makers and heart-breakers.
But the Gold Coast Tourism boss Martin Winter said after watching it he was not only “insulted” but “fed up”, especially after being refused permission to view it before it aired.
The show introduced viewers to the characters ‘behind the scenes’ in the city to showcase how the coastal playground “mixes Hollywood with heartache, bikini babes with millionaires”, as stated by the program’s narrator.
“It’s a place where rules are always broken.”
But Winter claims the show is just another way in which the GC Strip’s reputation is being damaged, particularly given the negative portrayals the show’s producers have created in similar programs featuring Bali and Thailand.
“I am not only insulted but also fed up,” Winter told News Corp.
“For a number of years, the Gold Coast has been severely and repeatedly misrepresented in mainstream media.”
Show producer John McAvoy, who is also the man behind Gold Coast Cops which appeared on Channel 10, said people should not judge a book by its cover.
“I would always encourage people to reserve judgment until viewing,” McAvoy said.
“I think this is brought about by the creation of urban myths and fears about the show generated by drastic promos which do not accurately represent the whole show itself.”
The debut episode included footage of the Gold Coast meter maids, surfing and fishing lads The Mad Hueys and some of the resident nightclub strippers from Surfers Paradise.
“Some characters and stories, you have never seen before,” McAvoy added. “Not to mention the dedication and commitment of the tireless staff in the Gold Coast University Hospital, who are absolute heroes.”
But now Winter has called for locals to prove the program wrong, and show off the city in a more positive light via social media with the tag #VisitGoldCoast.
“We’re encouraging locals to take to social media to show their families, friends and followers what life is actually like on the Gold Coast,” he added.
“It’s not just damaging for tourism — these perceptions will have flow-on effects for a range of areas of our economy, not least of which being future investment in the city.”