The Gold Coast is poised to receive the bulk of the federal government’s discounted airfares, once the massive tourism scheme becomes available next month.
The $1.2 billion package announced yesterday will see around 800,000 flights subsidised by the government from April 1, along with additional business and aviation support.
It’s hoped to take the edge off the end of Job Keeper payment by getting tourists back on the ground.
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Federal Tourism Minister Dan Tehan told myGC it’s already having the desired effect, particularly on the Gold Coast.
“We’ve already seen – thanks to research done by Google – a huge spike in people looking for discounted flights to the Gold Coast so the package is working, and the Gold Coast can expect many more tourists heading their way in April, May, June, July and August.
It’s understood that the Gold Coast is in the top two out of 13 destinations, battling Cairns for glory.
“It’s spiked at different times so it’s very hard to tell, it’s neck and neck, it looks like it’s a dead heat, but it’s very good news for the Gold Coast,” Minister Tehan said.
“We want to see the airlines putting on additional capacity to these key destinations and that’s what they’re committed to do.
“And we’ll continue to monitor how that demand-driven approach is going,” he said.
Local Member for Moncrieff Angie Bell’s told myGC that it’s great news for businesses, and tourism operators better start getting ready.
“I think this is the exact time to get ‘business ready’ for an influx of people.
“The Gold Coast is actually the highest-ranked search in Google, the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast are the top two ranked searches.
“So I expect that there will be very many people taking advantage of those half-price fares to the Gold Coast,” Ms Bell said.
The package announcement comes only a month after a meeting of tourism leaders, in which the request was simply to get tourists back.
“This is what came out of the round table we had just a month ago at The Star, where tourism stake-holders laid it out on the table and said ‘what we need is people in our city’,” Ms Bell told myGC.
“And that’s what the federal government has delivered today and yesterday with the announcement.
“So it’s fantastic news for our city and we’re thrilled,” Ms Bell said.