25 September 2018 (Sydney, AUS) Today, leading online travel site Wotif has announced the shortlisted finalists in the running to be gifted Australia’s ‘Next Big Thing’, with it now up to the Australian public to decide which local town should be home to Australia’s newest oversized tourist attraction.
After a two-week nationwide search that saw thousands of Aussies submit their ‘Big Thing’ ideas, Aussies are now encouraged to vote for their favourite via www.wotif.com/nextbigthing.
The Next Big Thing shortlisted finalists:
• The Big Melon, Chinchilla (QLD): famous for its melon production and home of the popular Melon Fest, Chinchilla looks for a Big Melon to celebrate the region’s produce
• The Big Kilt, Glen Innes Highlands (NSW): featuring Glen Innes’ own signature tartan, the Big Kilt would highlight the towns early Scottish settlers and Celtic history
• The Big Peanut, Kingaroy (QLD): known as the “Peanut Capital of Australia”, Kingaroy’s unique soil makes it one of the world’s most ideal places to grow peanuts and houses Australia’s largest peanut processing plant, making the Big Peanut a natural fit for the area
• The Big Tulip, Mittagong (NSW): gateway to one of Australia’s oldest floral festivals, Tulip Time, which results in the planting of over 100,000 tulips in the area each spring, Mittagong and its neighbouring tulip towns rally for the Big Tulip to commemorate their efforts
Wotif Managing Director, Daniel Finch reflects on the wave of entries submitted for the ‘Next Big Thing’.
“Collectively, the submissions reflect what makes Australian culture so unique. From the quirky, to the humorous, to the patriotic to the bold, with so many brilliant submissions, the Wotif team had the near-impossible task of choosing only a handful of entries to be shortlisted for public voting.
“The entries that stood out to us most showed a long-term connection to the local area and we’re confident that these final four ‘Big Things’, not only reflect the spirit of their respective town but will also make a positive impact to the local community.
“The search also brought to light the true larrikin spirit of Australia, with the likes of the Big Chiko Roll in Bendigo (VIC), the Big Choccy Milk in Newcastle (NSW) and the much-loved ‘Bin Chicken’ or Ibis popular among most of our nations’ capital cities,” continued Finch.
Research commissioned by Wotif uncovers the role that ‘Big Things’ play in supporting domestic travel, with almost three quarters (73 per cent) of Australians agreeing that ‘Big Things’ are an inherent part of regional Australian tourism.
“Not only will the Big Tulip be a symbol of one of our most well-known festivals, but it will also give Australians another reason to visit and explore our great region and everything it has to offer year-round,” said Steve Rosa, Manager of Tourism and Events for Destination Southern Highlands.
Furthermore, the research indicates that Australians are more likely to spend time and money in areas with ‘Big Things’ (47 per cent), with 61 per cent purchasing food or refreshments during their visit and more than two thirds (66 per cent) of Australians keen to visit other town attractions after a stop to a ‘Big Thing’.”
“Tourism is a big part of our economy and especially in times when agriculture is suffering, like it is for many rural towns right now. With the Big Kilt, we’ll have another reason for people to stop and experience what our quirky town has to offer as well as support local businesses,” said Margot Davis, Manager of Economic Development at Glen Innes Severn Council.
Importantly, the shortlisted towns hope that the new attraction will encourage Aussies to visit year-round.
“Every two years, Chinchilla transforms for the world’s largest melon festival drawing tourists from Australia and beyond. It's one of the country's most distinctive festivals and The Big Melon will cement our status as Australia’s Melon Capital and give Aussies an excuse to see our beautiful landscape,” said Deputy Mayor Andrew Smith, Western Downs Regional Council.
“Visitors and residents alike have been clamouring for a Big Peanut for years. If we finally get one, we’ll be able to establish Kingaroy as a must-see destination while paying tribute to our rich industry and its contribution to the Australian economy,” said Abigail Andersson of Kingaroy Bowls Club Big Peanut Sub-Committee.
The vote is now in the hands of the Australian public to decide, with the final winner of the ‘Next Big Thing’ to be determined in a two-week voting process to take place 25 September – (midday) 9 October, with Australia’s ‘Next Big Thing’ planned to be built and unveiled by the end of the year.
Finch said: “We know Aussies love to have their say so we’re putting the power back into the nation’s hands to decide on the ‘Next Big Thing’. Get voting Australia to see your favourite ‘Big Thing’ take out the top spot!”
From today, Australians will have the chance to vote on their preferred ‘Next Big Thing’ finalist, playing their part in Aussie holiday history. Those who participate will also go in the running to win $2000 towards their next Wotif holiday. Visit www.wotif.com/nextbigthing for details*.
The 18 most memorable entries on the hunt for Australia’s ‘Next Big Thing’ (to mark Wotif’s 18th year in Australia)
1. The Big Chicken was nominated in almost every capital around the country including Darwin, who campaigned for the rare Black Ibis
2. Tasmanians love their state’s official animal emblem, with the endangered Tasmanian Devil the most nominated Tassie Big Thing
3. Those in the NT paid homage to its often-dangerous waterways with the Big Crocodile and Big Box Jellyfish topping nominations
4. The most passionate nominator entered Victoria’s Lake Entrance to receive The Big Dolphin every single day for two weeks
5. It’s true Aussies love a tipple or two, with wine the most nominated beverage across the country
6. Sydney, NSW was the most nominated location across the country for the Next Big Thing
7. The most popular Aussie great featured in the list was the late Steve Irwin
8. Vegemite secured its status as one of Australia’s favourites with almost 250 nominations for the iconic spread
9. Aussies have a strong love for their pets with a surprising amount of people wanting the Next Big Thing to be their own dog
10. The Big Hot Air Balloon took out the top spot in our nation’s capital, followed by the Big Revolving Door at Parliament House
11. There’s nothing more Aussie than a snag: the Big Bunnings Sausage was nominated almost 50 times
12. Geraldton was the most nominated location in Western Australia, with submissions paying tribute to the coastal beauty and wildlife
13. Watermelon was the most popular fruit submitted by Aussies for the Next Big Thing, followed by the Big Strawberry and Big Apple
14. South Australians threw their weight behind the Big Hills Hoist, the all-Aussie invention patented in Adelaide
15. Those with the name Sarah or Matt were responsible for the most amount of entries
16. The Big Turtle was the most popular animal put forward by Aussies for the Next Big Thing
17. Queensland was the most backed state across the country – with the highest number of nominations, resulting in two QLD finalists in the running to receive the Next Big Thing
18. Only one entrant was unsure of the location for Australia’s Next Big Thing – stating they had “no idea” where the Big Budgie Smuggler should be built
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*Competition open to AU residents 18+ only. Between 6am AEST 25/9/18 and 11.59am AEDT 9/10/18. Limit one entry/vote per person per valid email address. Permit no.: LTPS/18/27577. For full terms and conditions and privacy statement visit: www.wotif.com/g/rf/nextbigthingpromotiontandcs
About the Research
Research conducted on behalf of Wotif, August 2018. Total sample of 1003 Australian adults 18+ distributed throughout Australia. All data is representative of age, gender and region population estimates.
Wotif is Aussie For Travel. Wotif offers travellers access to accommodation, flights, packages, activities and car hire both locally and overseas, with verified accommodation reviews from almost two million Australian and New Zealand travellers.
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