Contiki Resort to market 'sand, sea and sex'

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GREAT KEPPEL ISLAND, Australia -- So, where to send those young adult clients seeking a little excitement?

Well, the new Contiki Resort Great Keppel Island is marketing itself as a place for "sun, sand, sea and sex," according to Accor Asia Pacific, which partnered with Contiki to open their first resort here.

"Great Keppel Island is perfect for the 18-to-35-year-old market because it provides a self-contained environment that they can have exclusively to themselves," according to Michael Issenberg, Accor's managing director for Australia, New Zealand, the South Pacific and Japan.

Contiki, which sells tours to young adults, and Accor, which runs hotels with 400,000 rooms worldwide, plan to expand their relationship to Bali, Indonesia, and Phuket, Thailand, if successful in the Australian venture, Accor said.

Great Keppel Island is closest to Rockhampton, New Zealand, off the coast of northern Queensland.

Pool meets sea at the Contiki Resort Great Keppel Island. The resort has five swimming pools. Contiki and Accor also have brought in Qantas as a partner in the venture; the airline operates charter flights from Sydney to Rockhampton as part of packages.

Seven-night packages, which include dinner and brunch -- there is no breakfast for the late-night, party-animal demographic that likes to sleep in -- start at $603 per person, triple, and include daily activities; transfers to and from the island from Rockhampton; flights from Brisbane, Melbourne or Sydney, Australia, to Rockhampton; and all airline taxes and government charges.

There also are two-night minimum stays priced at $86 per night, triple, which can be added to the beginning or end of other Contiki tours, such as the three-night Sydney Scene or four-night City to Surf (Sydney to Brisbane) programs.

The Contiki Resort Great Keppel Island "is almost like an upmarket backpackers' lodge, which is the way people are seeing the experience," said an Accor spokesman.

The 181-room resort was renovated for the new venture, both companies said. There are three levels of accommodations: beachfront; garden; and split-level, hilltop villas.

In addition to the island's 17 miles of beaches, the resort has five swimming pools, three bars, a nightclub, lounge, Internet cafe, gymnasium, food market and restaurants.

It also offers 40 different activities for guests, including archery, sailing, golf, surfing and water-skiing. In addition, the resort can arrange massages, sky diving and sunset cruises.

Issenberg said his company's investment in the project is a healthy risk. "After the collapse of Ansett Airlines and the global downturn in tourism, this might not be the safest time to relaunch a tourism asset, but Accor has always been prepared to take risks when we can see the potential of a property," he said.

For information, call Contiki at (800) 266-8454 or visit www.contiki.com.

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