Generating $12 billion in sales annually, our tourism sector attracts more than 13 million holidaymakers a year from Australia and around the world. Our biggest market is in our own backyard with day-trippers accounting for some eight million visits a year.
Tourism is an enduring industry for the Gold Coast, and no matter the challenges, its natural appeal keeps visitors coming back again and again. The Gold Coast is regarded as a low-risk destination, ideal for business and leisure tourism and positioned as Australia’s favourite holiday destination.
When viewed in combination with the hospitality sector, tourism employs more than 37,500 people directly and supports a further 22,000 indirectly. The industry’s employment base has been growing at an average of more than 6 per cent a year since 2015.
The city has extensive tourism infrastructure and continues to invest in this sector to meet future demands. Major developments that are underway or have been recently completed include:
- $200 million transformation of Gold Coast Airport.
- $1.6 billion Gold Coast light rail – the city’s largest ever transportation infrastructure project.
- Five internationally recognised theme parks in addition to hundreds of activities, tours and attractions.
- Vibrant hotel landscape offering over 42,000 accommodation beds.
- $1 billion Jewel development, a three-tower resort including luxury hotel and 500 residential apartments spanning 130 metres of the Surfers Paradise beachfront.
- $345 million redevelopment of The Star, including an expansion of the hotel, casino and dining experiences.
- $670 million redevelopment of Pacific Fair Shopping Centre, contributing 120 new retailers and 1,540 local jobs.
- State-of-the-art cultural precinct complete with a new $60.5 million art gallery and $37.5 million outdoor stage and concert lawn.
- $6.8 million development of the Gold Coast’s Chinatown in Southport CBD.
- Development of Kurrawa Terrace, the Gold Coast first absolute beachfront-dedicated, fully service outdoor event space.
- Broadwater Parklands, a significant 2018 Commonwealth Games legacy project providing parklands, swimming enclosures, outdoor event spaces, boat ramps and more.
- $200 million invested into key sports infrastructure – a legacy from the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Events play a significant role in growing local visitation and enhancing the tourism experience. We put on the show of the city’s lifetime during the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games and continue to stage more than 900 events annually.