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Breathe in, breathe out while rethinking tourism

Gold Coast unites for World Tourism Day – a cause for celebration

Marking World Tourism Day, Destination Gold Coast has celebrated the occasion by bringing more than 80 industry peers together over an invigorating yoga session and networking breakfast at the JW Marriot Resort and Spa.

With a focus on the United Nations World Tourism Organisation’s theme for 2022, Rethinking Tourism, the mindfulness event was intended to inspire discussion around tourism’s environmental footprint and opportunities to grow more sustainably.

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Destination Gold Coast CEO, Patricia O’Callaghan said this year’s theme gives industry the opportunity to tap into the future of tourism where sustainability, inclusivity, connection, and authentic experiences are leading the path forward.

“With travel restrictions now largely lifted along with rising traveller confidence, this World Tourism Day is cause for celebration,” Ms O’Callaghan said.

“COVID-19 has been the catalyst for many industries to reassess and look at new and innovative ways to remain sustainable.

“And we have seen this with the welcomed release of THRIVE 2030 and Queensland’s Towards 2032 – Action Plan for Tourism Recovery, which we look forward to continuing working with Government, our partners and industry to rebuild and reimagine a stronger, more inclusive visitor economy of the future.

“This time last year, the Gold Coast was on track to lose $1 billion in the September quarter due to the pandemic, and today domestic capacity has been largely restored with international markets gradually returning to the region.

“With the September school holidays underway, Gold Coast Airport has welcomed more than 62,000 arriving passengers during the first week of the holidays alone while occupancy is sitting at 80 percent on average and spiking as high as 90 percent on some days according to STR data.”

Ms O’Callaghan said it comes as latest National Visitor Survey (NVS) and International Visitor Survey (IVS) figures are released by Tourism Research Australia for the year ending June 2022.

“The Gold Coast welcomed 3.2 million domestic overnight visitors who spent $3.3 billion in the twelve months to June, both up on the previous year, while total nights saw growth of 3.5 percent to 11.8 million nights,” Ms O’Callaghan said. 

“The significant increase in spend per visitor to over $1000 per head is a great sign for many small businesses that make up Gold Coast’s tourism industry.

“This increase in expenditure per visitor across Australia has meant that total holiday expenditure for the Gold Coast in the June quarter increased 29 per cent. 

Ms O’Callaghan said as Australia and the world reopens, the Gold Coast’s visitor mix will start to look more like 2019 than 2021, however even as choices increase, she expects to see fluctuations in core markets.

“Overall, interstate visitors to the Gold Coast reached 1.3 million people, up 8.9 percent on last year, showing strong interest as a destination of choice for domestic overnight visitors,” she said. 

 “At the same time, intrastate visitors marginally dipped by 4.5 percent to 1.9 million visitors, which is to be expected as the world reopens.

“With our international borders opening in February, the Gold Coast still welcomed 87,000 international visitors primarily from New Zealand, the UK, and Singapore and we look forward to growing this with our aviation partners as new routes come online direct to the Gold Coast’s doorstep.

“While there are still many challenges ahead for our industry including the need for skilled workers and strengthening the weekday economy, these results are a good step forward in a sign that recovery is well underway.

“After two years of disruption, we hope operators will continue to benefit from a bounce-back, but we still have a long road ahead of us to rebuild Gold Coast’s $5.9 billion visitor economy.”


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