Gold Coast Meter Maids could be covering up and heading south for the winter.
Albeit on a promotional trip to encourage southerners to take a winter holiday on the Gold Coast.
First touted in the 1960s, local tourism authorities are proposing to send the cash strapped meter maids south, but the famous bikini girls will have to don more clothes in order to do it.
The gold bikini wearing beauties are based in Surfer's Paradise and have fallen on tough times since the Gold Coast City Council's Local Law Compliance Department told the girls they would have to stop selling their souvenir calendars, keyrings and stubbie-holders earlier this year.
Gold Coast Tourism has insisted that if they are to promote the Gold Coast in the southern states, they will have to change their iconic swimsuits because they are "inappropriate" for anywhere other than the beach.
Spokesman for Gold Coast Tourism, Ben Pole said they were glad to help the maids, but if the authority were to begin sending them interstate, he said, they would need to fit in.
"If they're providing information to visitors on the beachfront, it's entirely appropriate for them to be wearing bikinis," he said. "If they're at the Melbourne Convention Centre, that's probably not appropriate attire."
Meter maid Pernilla Eriksson was adamant and said that the demand was "ridiculous". "Bikinis have been on the Gold Coast for over 50 years," she said. "Why wouldn't you use them to promote the Gold Coast?"
Meter Maids chief Roberta Aitchison was a little more pragmatic and said she was keen to do a deal with the tourism authority.
"We will cover up to a certain extent, but we won't cover up completely. Otherwise it's a pointless exercise," said Ms Aitchison, who is a former meter maid.
"We need to keep it sexy and summery and you don't really do that in a corporate outfit - you do that in a bikini."
“We have some beautiful wraps and jackets that we use for the colder weather periods, so I’m sure we can come up with something that suits and is still attractive”.
The Gold Coast is a very popular holiday destination for australians and there are many Gold Coast Hotels that would benefit from the Gold Coast Meter Maids promoting the region interstate.
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