Queensland koala bears UK name

14 Nov 2013 11:24 AMJann Stuckey

14 November 2013

 Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary’s newest baby koala has created a buzz in the UK with more than 15,000 entries received from Brits vying for the chance to name the joey and visit Queensland.

Member for Currumbin and Minister for Tourism, Jann Stuckey MP said Tourism and Events Queensland partnered with National Geographic Traveller on the campaign to promote Queensland to UK travellers.

“Featuring on the National Geographic Traveller’s UK network throughout September and October, this competition is estimated to have reached around 130,000 people across the UK,” Ms Stuckey said.  

“Helen Newman from Derby in England was selected from 15,000 entries and has named the Currumbin koala ‘Archie’.

“British travellers love Queensland’s nature, wildlife, beaches and laidback lifestyle so it is no surprise this initiative captured the attention of UK residents.

“The UK is Queensland’s third largest international market based on both visitor numbers and visitor spend with 205,000 UK visitors travelling to the state during the past financial year, a seven per cent increase on the year prior.

“UK visitors also spent $394 million on trips to Queensland, a 14 per cent increase on the previous financial year.

“Promoting Queensland to international markets will help us reach our target to double overnight visitor expenditure from $15 million to $30 billion by 2020. 

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary Sales Manager Ken Holmes said Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary had approximately 7000 visitors each year from the UK and the koalas just love to give them a hug. 

“As one of only 12 places in Australia where you can actually hold a koala it’s great to see the expression on peoples’ faces when they finally get to hold one of the world’s cutest animals,” he said. 

“Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is a not for profit organisation and last year the wildlife hospital took in over 7000 sick and injured native wildlife including 300 koalas.” 

Mrs Newman said she was thrilled to have won and had decided to name the koala joey ‘Archie’ after her son. 

“I’m an avid National Geographic Traveller reader, fascinated by Australian wildlife and can’t wait to visit Queensland with my family for the first time early next year,” Mrs Newman said.