Sep
29

Gold Coast riding the wave of school holiday tourism boom brought on by beaches and cafes

Gold Coast Bulletin

AUSTRALIA is getting on board the wave Gold Coasters have been riding for years — the Coast is the best place to soak up holiday fun.

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Roads, beaches, restaurants, hotels and theme parks have all been bursting at the seams as tourists get in on the Gold Coast’s early summer.

Surfers Paradise has topped online hotel booking giant Wotif’s place to be for a holiday with Broadbeach not far behind, also named in the top five.

Hotel giant Mantra is reporting their Gold Coast hotels are almost full with 70 per cent occupancy rates across the state.

Wyndham Resorts has seen a similar boom with their Kirra hotel at capacity and their Surfers Paradise resort 96 per cent full.

Council owned tourists parks are also seeing similar business with many reported to be near capacity.

Passengers travelling from Sydney have said the line to get to the Gold Coast starts at the Sydney Airport with many travellers telling others they were headed to the Glitter Strip.

And that influx is set to continue with New South Wales only halfway through their school holidays and more travellers expected in the next week.

Leah Connoll with her dog Trevor and Tara Connolly with her dog Edie, enjoying the sun at Burleigh Beach. Photo: Jerad Williams

Tourism Minister Kate Jones ducked to the Gold Coast for a lunch to discuss attracting the Chinese tourism and education dollar and was over the moon about the boom on the Gold Coast.

 “Anyone you speak to in the tourism industry are saying the hotels are full, everyone is taking advantage of the great beaches and weather these school holidays,” she said.

Ms Jones said tourists were attracted by the Gold Coast world-class beaches, including their safety after a shocking shark attack at Ballina earlier this week.

“The government is committed to providing safe beaches and surf for both locals and visitors,” she said.

Gold Coast Tourism boss Martin Winter said the glorious weather the Glitter Strip had experienced was also adding to numbers on the beaches, at cafes and flooding to the theme parks.

“We had one day of wet weather last week and we did see a dip in numbers,” he said.

Mr Winter said the golden weather meant people were making the drive from Brisbane or nearby to spend the day on the Gold Coast.

He said the Gold Coast had become attractive because it was about more than just the beach, but also other attractions such as theme parks, cafe culture, high class shopping and other natural sites.

“We are now seeing the Millenials who are looking for different things rather than just flopping on the beach,” he said.

Mr Winter said it was vital for the Gold Coast to continue building different attractions if the region wanted to retain a share of the tourism market.

Mantra CEO Bob East said the hotels expected to continue their strong school holiday influx well into next week.

“We’re putting our bumper results down to the recent spate of good weather on the Gold Coast and the positive weather forecast for the remainder of the school holidays period,” he said.

Mr East said the Coast was “coming of age” with a broader range of dining, attractions and cultural experiences on offer.

Acting mayor Donna Gates said the sun, sand and family atmosphere made it a “perfect storm” for tourism this school holidays.

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