Gold Coast Skyline Surfers Paradise

Gold Coast more popular than ever with Aussie tourists

Australians can’t seem to get enough of the Gold Coast, according to new figures released today.

The latest National Visitor Survey* shows 11.2 million domestic visitors flocked to the coast in the 12 months to September 2018, with  domestic overnight visitors injecting a record $3.3 billion into the economy.

Daytrips to the Gold Coast also proved more popular than ever, with a record visitor volume of 7.6 million tourists and record expenditure of $784.5 million.

Destination Gold Coast CEO Annaliese Battista said Aussie families are front and centre of Gold Coast’s tourism marketing efforts.

“We know tourists love our beaches, weather, theme parks, hinterland and all of our other iconic Gold Coast experiences – especially families,” Ms Battista said.

“More than 1.9 million interstate visitors made their way to the Gold Coast last quarter and we along with our tourism partners will be working hard to attract more families to Australia’s favourite playground this year.”

Interestingly, The Gold Coast also posted similar record-breaking international visitor expenditure for the same period.

According to the Preliminary International Visitor Survey*, international visitor spend increased by 13.3 per cent for the year, once-again outperforming growth rates for Queensland (11.5 per cent) and doubling that of Australia, which grew by 5.2 per cent.

China accounted for the largest number of international visitors with 269,000, followed by New Zealand with 207,000 visitors.

USA saw the largest increase to 41,000 visitors, up 13.8 per cent from the previous year.

Gold Coast Airport

Direct flights between Gold Coast, Townsville and Darwin announced

Regional airline Airnorth has today announced that they will be introducing direct flights between the Gold Coast and Townsville.

The flights, departing Darwin via Townsville and onto the Gold Coast, will operate twice weekly on Wednesdays and Sundays from April 3 through to October 20 next year.

The new service makes Airnorth the only carrier in Australia to provide nonstop flights between the two Queensland cities.

Airnorth Chief Executive Officer Daniel Bowden said the addition of the Gold Coast destination is incredibly exciting not only to Airnorth, but for all business and leisure travellers in Australia.

“The announcement of this additional service means Airnorth is supporting Queensland by providing up to 25 flights weekly in, and around the state,” he said.

“This provides an abundance of opportunity not only for tourism on an international and national level, but also a fantastic opportunity for intrastate travel for all Queenslanders.”

Tourism Industry Development Minster Kate Jones also welcomed the new route.

“Making it as easy as possible for visitors to travel to key destinations throughout the state is vital to growing our tourism industry,” she said.

“These flights will help to lure visitors, ensure tourists stay longer and experience more of what we have to offer in Queensland.”

The airfares from Townsville to the Gold Coast will start at $209, while flights from Darwin to the Gold Coast will start at $279. All airfares include taxes, 20kg checked luggage and refreshments.

Gold Coast Airport takes out top customer experience gong

GOLD Coast Airport has taken out the aviation industry’s top award for customer experience at a glittering awards ceremony in Brisbane.

The Australian Airports Association, which represents the interests of over 340 airports and aerodromes across Australia, made the announcement at the AAA’s National Airport Industry Awards overnight.

Gold Coast Airport Chief Operating Officer Marion Charlton said the award was great recognition of the team’s outstanding work, particularly in the lead up to and during the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

“We’re so excited to receive this award – it highlights the huge effort undertaken by our team to ensure the 2018 Commonwealth Games was a major success,” Ms Charlton said.

“We were conscious the airport would need to deliver a positive first and last impression to Games visitors flying in from around the world and across Australia.”

“An incredible amount of work went into ensuring we were ready to cope with the expanded capacity, while providing an efficient and enjoyable experience for the thousands of athletes, officials, media and spectators who travelled through our airport during the Games.

“We’re proud to say we delivered on their expectations, with no security incidents, no equipment failures and no complaints.

“All travel went well – even on Mass Departure Day, when our security queues were kept to an average wait time of around five minutes.”

Gold Coast Airport COO Marion Charlton accepting last night’s award | Photo: Supplied

The Games provided a catalyst for Gold Coast Airport to deliver a range of key projects throughout the airport precinct in time for the event, including $86 million worth of airside works.

Significant initiatives undertaken to ensure the best customer experience was delivered during the Games continue to live on at the airport, including the GC2018 Airport Lounge and Airport Ambassadors.

AAA Chief Executive Officer Caroline Wilkie congratulated Gold Coast Airport on its achievement.

“The Commonwealth Games was such a great success for Queensland and Australia, with Gold Coast Airport playing an important role in that effort,” she said.

“This is a great example of meeting the needs of significant increases in demand to ensure the benefits of major events to the community are maximised.”

Camping Camp Tent Beach

Holidaymakers ditching fancy hotels for tents, new data shows

MORE Australians than ever before are choosing to holiday in a caravan or go camping, new data shows.

The new figures from Tourism Research Australia show national overnight camping and caravan trips reached 12.3 million for the year ending June 2018.

It’s the first time ever that overnight trips have exceeded 12 million in a 12 month period.

Total nights spent caravanning and camping around the country also increased by 6.5 percent to reach a record 52.8 million nights for the year ending June 2018.

The new data also revealed over 6.3 million Australians who chose to go caravaning or camping in the last 12 months also spent money in local restaurants or cafes, boosting the economy.

A further 4.2 million stopped at the beach, while 4.1 million went sightseeing in the local area.

The figures also highlighted the increasing interest in caravanning and camping among the younger generations, with more and more people aged in their 20s ditching hotels for tents.

The number of caravan and camping trips taken by people aged 20-29 in the 12 months to June this year increased by 22 percent to surpass 2.2 million.

Airport Terminal

Airport workers to protest around Australia today

Anyone catching a plane to or from five of Australia’s major airports today are being warned they may experience some disruptions, with hundreds of airport workers set to protest over poor pay and conditions.

Tuesday’s planned protests are part of a global day of action by airport workers across the world.

It comes following the release of The Transport Workers’ Union report to the Productivity Commission, which shows low standards are impacting on aviation safety and security.

According to the union, protesters will demand an end to “forced part-time hours that see workers rostered to work as few as three hours a day and just 60 hours a month.”

“Coupled with this, low pay and split shifts are forcing some workers to sleep at airports,” The TWU says.

The report calls on the Federal Government to mandate that airports and airlines take responsibility for labour standards in their supply chains.

To plan ahead, here are the times and locations of the protests taking place at Australian airports today:

Sydney                     9:30am, international terminal arrivals

Melbourne               11:00am, Virgin domestic arrivals

Brisbane                  11:00am, domestic terminal between Qantas & Virgin

Adelaide                  10.30am, airport main entrance

Perth                        10:00am, domestic terminal