Tourism bosses fear the State Government’s restrictions surrounding theme parks will hamper the Gold Coast’s ability to recover from the COVID-19 crisis.
Theme park operators on the Gold Coast have indicated they are likely to remain shut even once restrictions start easing.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced on Friday a three-stage plan for reopening Queensland’s economy.
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Under the plan, theme parks would be able to reopen in Stage Two in June, but only with a maximum of 20 people at a time.
That number will increase to 100 as part of Stage Three in July.
But Village Roadshow Theme Parks Chief Operating Officer Bikash Randhawa insists that’s still not financially viable and wants a clearer framework from the State Government.
“We need to have, at a minimum, 5000 people here before it makes any commercial sense or financial sense,” Mr Randhawa told Seven.
Mr Randhawa also warned it would take up to four weeks before the parks would be in a position to reopen.
Destination Gold Coast CEO Annaliese Battista says the theme parks are a crucial part of the city’s tourism offering.
“We know that theme parks are in the top five reasons people visit the Gold Coast, they’re particularly important to the drive market and we certainly hope the theme parks are back online as soon as it’s safe and feasible to do so,” Ms Battista said.
“Theme parks are part of the DNA of the Gold Coast and certainly something that families in particular love about visiting the Gold Coast.”
It comes as Destination Gold Coast today made a pitch to Council for extra funding in the next budget to help drive the sector’s recovery from the virus.
The body wants a further $7.3 million to fund “highly targeted” marketing campaigns as we move towards an easing of travel restrictions.
“We’re fairly optimistic after meeting with council today that they understand the gravity of the situation facing the Gold Coast at the moment and we’re very confident that Council will come through and deliver the Gold Coast community what it needs,” Ms Battista said.
It’s expected interstate travel will be opened up in July.
New Zealand will also be a target for tourism bosses if a Trans-Tasman “travel bubble” is implemented.