Unique marketing idea draws future tourists

QUIRKY IDEA: Sarah Miller, Julie Pratt and Paul Patman from AAT Kings on the green. Picture: GLENN DANIELS

QUIRKY IDEA: Sarah Miller, Julie Pratt and Paul Patman from AAT Kings on the green. Picture: GLENN DANIELS

A travel company is using a unique and quirky marketing tool to promote its services.

Guided tour company AAT Kings has created the world’s first mobile indoor lawn bowls green, which visited Bendigo's Marketplace carpark on Monday. 

The company has fitted an indoor bowling green into one of its buses.

The bus is making a journey to 60 different Australian towns throughout South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland. 

Managing director Anthony Hayes said he came up with the idea with the help of a few glasses of wine.

"It took me about three goes to convince my marketing team that I was serious," Mr Hayes said.

He said AAT Kings wanted to bring the gimmick to as many regional towns as possible because many of their clients came from regional towns. 

"It's been really good fun, we’ve had great crowds just about everywhere we’ve gone," he said.

Mr Hayes said he was surprised at how many "very serious" bowls players they had encountered along the way.

"I think our driver Paul has become quite a whizz."

He said the idea was a way of thanking clients and travel agency partners by doing something fun and different.

He said the idea of fun was often overlooked by holiday companies.

"It's really about whether you have a good time and whether you meet lots of new people," he said.

"Our job is to convince people that a holiday and memories are more important that a TV set.

"It’s been a really good year this year. We're quite happy if the Australian dollar keeps going down, we can convince a few more Australians to holiday at home rather than going overseas."

The mobile bowling green will complete its journey in Sydney in September.

There the company will attempt to beat the Guinness World Record for the longest indoor lawn bowls game ever played.

Mr Hayes said the record was 40 hours and would be hard to beat.

"I reckon 41 hours is looking pretty good," he said.

AAT Kings is the largest guided holiday company in Australia and will take an estimated 300,000 people on holiday this year.

A full list of dates, times and locations of the lawn bowls bus can be found on www.aatkings.com/mobile-lawn-bowls.

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