Destination Gold Coast has already fired off plans to draw tourists from Canberra to us, once the borders to the ACT open up next Friday.
It’s welcome news for a struggling industry, which has already missed out on millions during the winter months.
From next Friday, residents from the ACT will be able to fly into Queensland, provided they haven’t been to New South Wales or Victoria within the last two weeks.
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Chairman of Destination Gold Coast Paul Donovan has told myGC they’re all guns blazing to ensure the Gold Coast gets a decent share of that market.
“The airport people are talking and engaging with the airlines at the moment to put the flights on.
“And our marketing people are ready to launch some additional marketing in Canberra to make sure the Canberrans actually get up here,” Mr Donovan said.
We’ve already been heavily targeting domestic markets within Queensland and other states that can travel here, with plans ready to go each stage of the border reopening.
“In fact we’re working flat out in southeast Queensland, Cairns, Townsville and in South Australia, and this is just another opening up and our marketing people are ready to press the button.
“And we’ve got this ready for all stages of the border opening, including New Zealand,” Mr Donovan said.
It comes after a miserable winter season for the Gold Coast and much of Queensland, which relies heavily on domestic tourism from Victoria, New South Wales and Canberra.
CEO of Queensland Tourism Industry Council Daniel Gschwind told myGC, the ACT market alone is worth a lot to the Sunshine State.
“In 2019 we had about 227,000 people came up to Queensland over the year, and they spent $215 million dollars in Queensland.
“It is an important market and it’s certainly a step in the right direction, and it will bring joy to many destinations in Queensland,” Mr Gschwind said.
While the border reopening is welcome news, Mr Gschwind has stressed that there is still a long way to go to try and recover the industry state wide.
“The national estimates suggest that Queensland has lost in June, in the one month, we’ve lost $1 billion dollars of revenue in the domestic market.
“So that is a very very big hole. And that’s not just a big abstract figure, it’s a figure that means that tens of thousands of businesses are missing out, and hundreds of thousands of staff are affected by the downturn.
“So to have any positive news is obviously something we’re looking for. We have a lot of ground to make up, and we have to be part of the recovery.
“Tourism is important to communities right across Queensland,” Mr Gschwind said.