Aussies, throw a sickie, come to Queenstown

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Australians are being encouraged by Queenstown’s tourism body to pull a sickie and fly to the resort for a long weekend.

Destination Queenstown (DQ) yesterday announced its latest targeted marketing campaign – ”Sick Day Stow Away” – encouraging Australian workers to call in sick and visit the resort for a sneaky spring break.

Research commissioned by DQ surveyed 1005 full-time employees in Australia.

It showed more than 80 per cent had admitted taking a sick day at some point in their career, despite not really being sick.

It then commissioned Australian comedian Dan Ilic to create a video guide to help people call in sick, so they could take a long weekend in the Queenstown Lakes district.

“The team at Destination Queenstown felt they might get in trouble if they were to teach the entire Australian workforce how to skip work and escape to the snow,” Ilic says.

“Something about economic collapse, trade sanctions and potential invasion … As a comedian, they thought I might get away with it.”

The video shows Ilic atop various mountains, bungy jumping, parapenting, sipping wine and eating a burger, all the while dishing out advice on how to pull a “siiick” sickie.

Advice includes when to organise to be sick, how to set up a sickness, how to call in sick and what to say in the “follow-up text”.

DQ chief executive Graham Budd says he was not worried about being criticised by employers who suddenly found themselves short-staffed.

“I think [the reaction] will probably be the same as everybody else. I’m sure they’ll have a wee chuckle and not take it too seriously.”

The campaign was only running on online media and social media platforms and would last for “a week or so”.

tracey.roxburgh@odt.co.nz