The true impact of the coronavirus on passenger numbers at the Gold Coast have been revealed, painting a pretty bleak picture of how the tourism industry’s been affected.
5.7 million fewer passengers boarded flights to the coast in 2020 compared to the year before.
While numbers did improve in December, with the airport recording 188,261 passengers, it’s still down 422,236 on the same period in 2019.
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Queensland Airports Limited CEO Chris Mills says the numbers, which are around 70 percent less that the year before, show just how deep the industry’s been impacted.
“The initial recovery for December demonstrates that people are keen to travel and points to the appeal of the destinations we support.
“The strength of the Gold Coast-Sydney services was particularly significant.
“But it is a stark reminder of how tough things are for the aviation sector and related businesses.
“For Gold Coast Airport in particular, it will take some time to recover from the impacts of 2020.
December passenger numbers were a staggering 70 per cent below the previous year – however, that was a relatively good result in an awful year.
“There were more passengers through Gold Coast Airport in December than were recorded for the entire period from April to November 2020, with no services at all on 45 days, highlighting just how difficult the year has been.”
It’s prompted further calls to the state and federal governments to put in place stable travel rules around outbreaks and the virus, to try and increase confidence for travelling Australians.
“Until there are clear and reasonable rules in place for management of COVID-19 hotspots, confidence in travel will continue to be impacted,” Mr Mills said.