IN a major tourism coup for the Gold Coast, Surfers Paradise will host the multi-million dollar CSI: The Experience exhibition.

Sprawled across 1110 square metres at the Piazza Surfers Paradise, the showcase will become the largest of its kind in Australia and attract up to 150,000 visitors between December 2 and February 28.

Up to 100 tradespeople will be hired during construction and a further 60 casual staff will work as attendants once operational.

It is the exhibition’s first visit to Australia, following triumphs in the US, Europe and Asia. It has been made possible following a joint venture between Frontier Events and Events Queensland, in association with EMS Exhibits – under a license from CBS Consumer Products.

Events Queensland CEO John O’Sullivan says the temporary exhibition represents diversification of investment in the region.

“We know that the Gold Coast has all the right ingredients when it comes to delivering successful major sporting events,” he says.

“Now we are starting to look at broadening our investment to include other events and this exhibition seems like a good fit which appeals to a wide audience.”

Director of Frontier Events Michael Gudinski, says it will spark a new chapter in tourism on the Gold Coast.

“The success of the CSI television franchise has been phenomenal worldwide. Millions have been enthralled by the science behind solving crime,” he says.

“I’m delighted that Frontier Events is able to join with Events Queensland to bring CSI: The Experience to Surfers Paradise, where we anticipate locals and tourists alike will discover first-hand their inner CSIs.”

The exhibition was developed in consultation with 175 forensic science experts, shows realities of crime scene investigation and mirrors the hit US television show.

Premier Anna Bligh says the Gold Coast is the perfect destination for the exhibition.

“This award-winning TV series has been watched in homes all over Queensland for years and now the experience is being brought to life right here on the Gold Coast,” she says.

“The Queensland Government is investing in major events and exhibitions like this through Events Queensland, because they attract visitors and help deliver the Gold Coast tourism industry the boost that it needs.”

The interactive exhibition is based on the multi award-winning and long-running hit television crime drama series, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

CSI: The Experience exhibition invites visitors to assume the role of a forensic detective to solve cases, using scientific principles and techniques currently in use today and as-seen on the CSI television programs.

CEO of Surfers Paradise Alliance Mike Winlaw, welcomed the news and says it will complement the roll-out of an events strategy set to add vibrancy and entertainment factor in the precinct over the next 12 months.

“It is a definite coup for Surfers Paradise and we will see some flow-on effects for traders, particularly at the northern end of the precinct,” he says.

From DNA and firearms analysis to forensic anthropology and toxicology, visitors will have the opportunity to actively engage in a new form of interactive and experiential learning – a hybrid of entertainment and science; or as CSI executive producer Jerry Bruckheimer describes it, ‘edu-tainment’ where an engaging multimedia environment meets pop culture appeal and enriching educational value.

Upon entering the exhibition, hired ‘detectives’ are inducted into the realm of forensic science through a video introduction from Anthony E. Zuiker – the creator and executive producer of the CSI television series.

Real-life forensic scientist Ron Singer briefly summarises the science to be found in the exhibit before CSI’s lead investigator ‘Gil Grissom’ outlines his role as supervisor for the new ‘recruits’ and as usual recommends they ‘follow the evidence’ to their eventual conclusion.

Detectives then travel through one of three intricately constructed ‘crime scenes’ to identify and record evidence. State-of-the-art ‘crime labs’ assist them to piece together evidence from the ‘crime scene’ while an ‘autopsy’ room explains the process of pathology analysis.

CSI: The Experience received the American Experience Industry’s Thea Award for excellence in innovation.

The Thea Awards, considered the experience industry’s highest honour, commend excellence in creation of outstanding guest experiences.

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