The central booking site for Schoolies Week has ditched a proposed alliance with Tinder, following backlash from Queensland’s tourism minister and parents.
Schoolies.com, which claims to have been the “central booking site Schoolies Week” for the last 30 years, will no longer proceed with a proposed arrangement with dating app Tinder, which would have acted as one of the festival’s tech partners.
“We feel confident that Tinder would have been able to help schoolies attendees connect safely with other high school graduates during this exciting time of their lives, but have decided not to continue with the partnership,” Schoolies.com CEO Matt Loyd said in a statement obtained by ABC News.
His comments follow a proposed technology partnership between the school leavers’ festival and Tinder, which was met by reported backlash from parents and government officials alike.
Queensland Minister for Tourism Kate Jones told ABC News the proposed agreement had sent the wrong message to the community, and that she shared parents’ outrage when it was announced.
“This partnership should never have been entered into the first place, but I really do want to acknowledge the Schoolies organisation for listening to parents and ending this contract with Tinder,” Jones said.
“We have worked really hard over the last decade to give parents confidence that their children are safe when they are at Schoolies.
“Our children have an absolute right to go down to Schoolies and enjoy themselves, but we want them to be safe.
Schoolies is a three-week graduation festival celebrated by high school graduates across Australia, with the largest celebrations in the calendar of Schoolies.com occurring on the Gold Coast.
Other destinations include Byron Bay, the Sunshine Coast, Airlie Beach, and Lorne, according to the booking site.
This year’s Schoolies festival will officially kick off on 16 November.
The Nibbler has contacted Schoolies.com for comment.