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Gap Year Challenge Wraps Up in Queenstown

Date Published: 3 December 2009

It's the end of the road for the young British travellers who have been battling it out to win the coveted title of 'The Ultimate Gap Year Traveller 2009' in online reality travel series The Gap Year: Challenge New Zealand.

The final three contestants - Holly, Anton and Emma - completed their final challenges in Queenstown yesterday. The winner will be announced in Friday's finale and so far, an incredible 25,000 votes have been cast online.

Over the past four weeks, the travellers have been pushed to their physical and mental limits. They have faced their fears in adventure, wild food and cultural challenges around New Zealand and won the hearts of the online community along the way.

Created by Endemol UK's award winning Digital Studios arm, The Gap Year: Challenge New Zealand is sponsored by Tourism New Zealand in a deal brokered by New State - Endemol UK's division dedicated to securing partnerships with leading brands.

Throughout the series, the travellers posted short videos and updates documenting their amazing adventures on The Gap Year homepages, which currently have nearly 12,000 followers across Bebo, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and You Tube. Viewers were also able to get involved with the show by interacting with the travellers and voting for the person that they want to win.

Gap Year Co-Producer Matt Smith says the project has been hugely successful. "It's the first project of its type to be rolled out across a number of social networks and it has exceeded expectations in every way."

The initiative is part of Tourism New Zealand's 'Go All the Way' campaign, which was developed to target the resilient backpacker market.

Tourism New Zealand Acting Chief Executive Tim Hunter says the initiative has been an ideal way to showcase the New Zealand holiday experience to a backpacker audience.

"Outbound travel from the UK has been hit hard by the global economic downturn but we're finding that backpackers are still travelling. The Gap Year project is just one of a series of initiatives that will aim to make sure these travellers come all the way down to New Zealand when they make that big trip."

Matt Smith says he's been impressed by the support New Zealanders have shown for the project.

"We've been over-awed with the response and help we've received from the people in New Zealand, from the tourism board to operators to the people who've gone out of their way to help us."

For more information contact:
Cas Carter - 021 915 410

The Gap Year Challenge can be followed on:
www.bebo.com/thegapyear; www.facebook.com/thegapyear; www.twitter.com/thegapyear; www.youtube.com/thegapyear; www.myspace.com/thegapyear

Read more about The Gap Year: Challenge New Zealand and 'Go All The Way':

Backpackers Buzz About Going All the Way

Gap Year Five Finally Arrive

Backpackers to 'Go All the Way'

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