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Million Dollar Memo finalists cook off with top Sunshine Coast chefs

26th August 2011 Print
MDM finalists

Cooking with some of the Sunshine Coast's top chefs and experiencing a signature spa treatment at the Hyatt Regency Coolum are some of the Sunshine Coast "challenges" the 20 finalists in Tourism Queensland's Million Dollar Memo have experienced in their quest to win AUD$1 million in Queensland incentive travel rewards.

Tourism Queensland CEO Anthony Hayes said the finalists, who represent companies from 11 countries, had been absolutely "blown away" by their Sunshine Coast experience as part of Queensland's Million Dollar Memo's incentive challenge event.

The Million Dollar Memo is Tourism Queensland's latest global campaign - offering the chance for one company to win AUD$1 million in Queensland incentive travel experiences for their staff.

"The Million Dollar Memo is the biggest logistical event Tourism Queensland has ever organised with the biggest prize we have ever offered - AUD$1 million for the winning company to spend on Queensland incentive travel rewards for their staff," Mr Hayes said.

"We have pulled out all stops to make sure that our 20 finalists are totally wowed by what Queensland has to offer."

Mr Hayes said the eight-day Million Dollar Memo incentive challenge event, which kicked off on the Gold Coast on August 24, would see the 20 finalists competing for the ultimate reward across a range of Queensland destinations.

"During their time on the Sunshine Coast, the 20 finalists took part in a food challenge with the master chefs including Shane Bailey (Berardo's), Paul Blain (The Tamarind), Cameron Matthews (The Long Apron) and Gareth Collins (Eliza's at the Hyatt Regency, Coolum).

"The finalists' performance in the food challenge will take them one step closer to walking away with the ultimate reward for their company - AUD$1 million in Queensland incentive travel experiences."

Mr Hayes said incentive travellers spent more than $300 million in Queensland each year and Tourism Queensland hoped to grow this number by showing the world that Queensland was one of the world's most amazing destinations for companies to reward their staff.

He said while the challenge event was no "Survivor", with AUD$1 million in incentive travel rewards at stake, it was a serious competition.

"The shortlisted companies include multinationals with thousands of staff and smaller businesses with less than 10, operating in industries as diverse as architecture to insurance.

"While their businesses are all very different, they have one thing in common - they are all doing their utmost to make sure they are the winner."

Mr Hayes said the Final 20 undertook an impressive amount of creative promotional activity to reach this stage of the competition, which meant the Million Dollar Memo message that Queensland was one of the world's leading incentive travel destinations had already been extensively promoted all over the world.

"We estimate the campaign message has reached an audience of around five million people, including the entrants' personal contacts, business networks, customers and suppliers while marketing activity undertaken by these companies is worth an approximate media value of $6 million AUD.

"During the eight-day incentive challenge event, the 20 finalists are travelling to amazing locations on the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast, the Whitsundays and Tropical North Queensland, where the winner will be announced in Port Douglas on 31 August."

Mr Hayes said the Final 20 included three chosen by popular vote which were ASUS Design Centre (Taiwan), XinMedia (Taiwan), Yahoo! Taiwan (Taiwan) and 17 chosen by Tourism Queensland, including ADR Group of Companies (Indonesia), Base Architecture (Queensland, Australia), Bejing Huayuan Int'l Travel (China), Boomerang Reisen GmbH (Germany), COM2US Corp (Korea), Datamatics (India), DéLonghi (New South Wales, Australia), Hong Leong Assurance Berhad (Malaysia), Lend Lease (Queensland, Australia), Mary Kay Cosmetics (Victoria, Australia), Peoplebank (New South Wales, Australia), Procter & Gamble (Taiwan), Reading Room (United Kingdom), Samsung Card (Korea), Sparkloft Media (United States), Vero Insurance NZ Ltd (New Zealand), Wood Group Integrity Management (Western Australia, Australia).

The Million Dollar Memo campaign is proudly supported by Virgin Australia, Etihad Airways, Gold Coast Convention Bureau, Business Events Sunshine Coast, Tourism Whitsundays Convention Bureau and Business Events Cairns & Great Barrier Reef. Mackay Convention Bureau, Townsville Convention Bureau, Brisbane Marketing Convention Bureau are also supporting partners.

Further information on the finalists can be found at

More Photos - Click to Enlarge

MDM finalists