Project info

The City of Gold Coast awarded Placemakers* a three-year contract to pilot the cultural tourism initiative Hotelling and asses it’s longer-term viability and sustainability. The project was conceived by Louise Bezzina and David Pledger.

Using the hotel as both canvas and venue, a curated series of encounters played out over the course of an evening. Hotels on the Gold Coast are like laneways in Melbourne, synonymous with the Coast’s national reputation. This evolving cultural tourism event added a new dimension to the city’s holiday experience.

As a visitor, I see the hotels as a strength of the local culture, an opportunity to re-imagine the whole idea of culture through the prism they offer. So, I wanted to write a new story in which a Surfers Paradise hotel was the major character.

– David Pledger, Director

During the course of the pilot program, Placemakers* delivered two distinct ‘Hotelling’ experiences with two different hotel partners. Each iteration of the work played to sold-out audiences.

Following the pilot program, Placemakers* identified:

  • Audience demand for custom-made experiences connected to place is high
  • For bespoke experiences, such as Hotelling, to be commercially viable, the season needs run over a series of months, not weeks, with a long-term, value aligned partner.
  • As a cultural tourism initiative, a strong long-lead marketing campaign needs to be embedded within partner’s digital assets.


Artist pictured: Ella Fence | Image: Art-Work Agency
Hotelling | Video: City of Gold Coast