(Australian Associated Press)
The Gold Coast is experiencing a tourism boom ahead of the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
According to the latest National Visitor Survey released on Wednesday, domestic overnight visitors to the Gold Coast increased by 14.3 per cent in the year ending September 2017, to a record high of 4.164 million.
Gold Coast’s visitation growth almost doubled that of Australia (7.2 per cent) and similarly outperformed Queensland, which grew at 9.7 per cent.
Last week the Gold Coast reported a record number of international overnight visitors (1.056 million). The survey also found 8.1 million Australians visit the Gold Coast for a day trip.
Gold Coast Tourism CEO Martin Winter said that the growth in tourism numbers was impressive five months out from the Commonwealth Games.
“It’s particularly encouraging to see the popularity of the Gold Coast continue to grow,” he says.
“Day-trippers made up 8.1 million visitors and when combined with the international overnight record number of 1.056 million released last week and the domestic overnight numbers that’s a formidable 13.32 million visitors.
“This is a coming-of-age of the city at speeds that would not have been sustained had it not secured the Commonwealth Games.”
Tourism remains a major cornerstone of the region’s economy, generating over $5 billion or 17 per cent of the Gold Coast’s gross regional product which accounts for 46,000 tourism jobs.
Winter predicts a bumper summer season ahead.
“Traditionally summer is the highest yielding period and we are hearing reports that many accommodation providers are at 90 per cent occupancy during summer,” he says.
Wyndham Cruises general manager Dean Griffin, who operates the leading and longest running river cruise service on the Gold Coast, also believes this summer will be the best on record.
“Our cruises have been exceptionally popular this summer with 80 per cent of bookings already on our books from Boxing day into January. There seems to a renewed energy and the city is abuzz with visitors wanting to be part of the excitement ahead of the forthcoming Commonwealth Games.”
AAP, in collaboration with the City of Gold Coast and Gold Coast Tourism, is publishing a range of newsworthy content in the lead-up to the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.