The other day my son talked about planning a trip to the Surfer Paradise in the Gold Coast, Queensland (Australia). I said that it would be nice as he would see pretty angels in golden bikinis. He thought that I was joking!
In 1964 parking meter machines were introduced along the streets of tourist area in the Gold Coast and there was a worry that paid parking and parking fines would reduce tourist attraction. So as an effort to make more tourists coming, a very clever promotion was created. Pretty girls in yellow bikinis and a tiara were introduced. They would put coins into expired parking meter to stop the car owners to get fines. They named the girls ‘Meter Maids’
Later in 1967 after terrible cyclone disaster, the local government used the meter maids to bring tourists back and since then the meter maids’ popularity was known all over Australia and also abroad.
Today, tiaras have been replaced by attractive hats to protect the beautiful face from sun burn or another pretty head pieces to wear to match the season. Until today, the Gold Coast meter maids are still in operation even in some areas the parking machines have been changed with the ticketing system where drivers have to display the parking ticket inside the car on the dashboard and the girls will not be able to save you from fines if your ticket expired. To boost tourist attraction today ‘meter maids’ also sell little souvenirs for visitors to buy.
Yes, meter maids have been part of tourism history and have become one of the most important icons of the Gold Coast.