Top Events Lifted Gold Coast Visitor Numbers, Says Gold Coast Car Rental CEO
It’s always busy in Gold Coast city. But a string of major events has so far made 2018 a particularly busy one for the tourism industry in the city. And its benefitted both directly and indirectly from the visitors and attracted by them and the exposure they received, according to Gold Coast Family Car Rentals CEO, Darryl Essington-Wilson.
Because of the close tie between his rental car operation and tourism, Darryl took a look at the impact of some of the 2018 events, and the long term and short-term prospects they hold in terms of visitor numbers and contribution to the economy. And, Darryl, whose Gold Coast Family Car Rentals is about keeping tourists moving on the road since 2001, is sure there’s more activity still to come when the holiday season kicks in next month.
Games kick off long-term vision
The 2018 Commonwealth Games, held in Gold Coast in April, started the 2018/2019 financial year in a big way. The visitor numbers and contribution to the economy were not necessarily dramatic compared to the same period last year. However, Darryl said the event may have laid the groundwork for long term gains. Already the impact of infrastructure development carried out to host them, was evident in the statement by Minister for Innovation and Tourism Industry Development, Kate Jones, that the Commonwealth games venues were booked out for the rest of 2018 within a month of the Games. This doubled the booking hours for those venues, and involved 102 events, 32 of which were of national or international significance. And on top of that was the exposure of the Gold Coast to about 1.5 billion TV viewers worldwide, 16 million of them in Australia as well as activity on various social media channels.
The opening of the Games also signified first of the 2018 Royal visitors, when Prince Charles stood in for the Queen. And, on a different level, the games also brought in the “royalty” of Commonwealth sport; and the sale of 1.21million tickets.
A further Royal visit to Queensland that followed last month may have been instigated by the buzz around the Games, and may also have had a spin off for the Gold Coast. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and his bride, Meghan Markle, did not touch down in Gold Coast itself, and catching a glimpse of the Royal newlyweds on Fraser Island would have required an 8 hour round trip in a Gold Coast car rental car. However, the visit did focus UK attention on the area in a massive UK publicity campaign for the Royal Tour.
Sport and music regulars show immediate growth
Starting with the 40th Gold Coast Marathon held on July 1, Darryl said Tourism and Events Queensland reported a 60,000 turnout for the event, more than two thirds of this from outside Queensland. The 27,000 participants included 4,300 international runners from 51 countries. Tourism records for the race were set in visitor nights (100,000) and an injection of $28.5million into the economy. And he said other events like the Gymnastics National Club carnival, featuring over 3 800 athletes, as well as a range of other sporting events also contributed by attracting visitors.
Just concluded was the Pan Pacific Masters Games, a biennial event of great significance, with a record 15,500 participants from over 40 countries competing across more than 40 individual and team sports. Darryl said that the report card from his customers who participated in the Masters Games was one netball gold medal, one silver medal in hockey, and several distinctions in having a great time.
Leaving the sports field, Darryl said the eighth Cooly Rocks On five-day festival held last month in Coolangatta, also showed an increase in visitors and tourist spend. The festival, which looks back at the culture of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, brought in 110, 000 fans of rock ‘n roll and nostalgia (half of them from outside Queensland), and added 34,000 visitor nights to the year’s tourism industry figures, and $6million to the local economy.
With Gold Coast tourism on the up and up, and events to attend, the right value-for-money car rental is going to become increasingly important. Find one to travel in the Gold Coast area, and particularly from Coolangatta to Surfers Paradise, and including the Gold Coast Airport, by making sure to book online with Car Hire Gold Coast or Gold Coast Airport Car Rental, or call + 61 7 5508 3333. Pick up and drop off at the Gold Coast Airport can be arranged.
Syndicated by Baxton Media.
Also published on Medium.