Over the past week, Destination Gold Coast has been strongly advocating for emergency funds at Local, State and Federal Government level to support Gold Coast’s tourism sector.

Coronavirus is without a doubt the biggest crisis the Gold Coast tourism sector has faced – it’s bigger than SARS and the Global Financial Crisis –  with estimates the epidemic has already cost the sector some $500 million.

Some economists are predicting a general downturn, with others foreshadowing that the situation could lead to a recession.

Whilst we navigate uncharted territory, it is clear that the road to recovery will be a long one. We believe the implications for the Gold Coast could last up to two years. It may take this long to see a return to base line tourism levels.

On behalf of the sector, over the past fortnight Destination Gold Coast have urged both the State and Federal Governments to provide immediate relief through reducing or deferring rates, levies and taxes for operators.

The State Government subsequently announced a recovery package for Queensland including concessions for some fees and levies and these are welcomed.

We understand that this type of assistance needs to be delivered as soon as possible to support small business owners, in particular. If you need advice, please call the small business hotline on 1300 654 687. 

However, more needs to be done for the 42,000 members of our community who rely on tourism for their livelihood.

Destination Gold Coast has continued to advocate for emergency mitigation funds to enhance its marketing efforts both domestically and in New Zealand.

DGC approached the City of Gold Coast for $2 million in emergency marketing support and yesterday, Council allocated $1 million to assist with promotion of the Gold Coast.

We are lucky that the sector is well supported by Council and that our city leaders understand the value of tourism to our economy, which totalled almost $6 billion last year.

We have sought assistance from all three-tiers of government and to date we have achieved the following outcomes for immediate marketing assistance:

• $2.4 million promise from the State Government of a request of $10 million.

• $1 million allocation from the City of Gold Coast.

• High level talks with Federal Government for further support from the Commonwealth.

The support outlined above will immediately be injected into upweighting three-large scale consumer campaigns this side of July.

Destination Gold Coast’s campaigns helped deliver a record-breaking year for the tourism sector in 2019, and we will continue to target high-spending travellers including families and those aged-50 and above to holiday in Australia’s favourite playground.

Destination Gold Coast CEO, Annaliese Battista.

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