Gold Coasters to have say on new global tourism hub

The Premier today announced the Palaszczuk Government would approach the global market for a new tourism hub on the Gold Coast.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said a world-wide search was now underway for the best proposal that would boost the tourism and entertainment offering for the city.

Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said the government would only approve a global tourism hub that delivered the following tourism attractions:

  • New entertainment venues
  • Convention space
  • High-end dining and retail experiences and
  • Luxury hotels

“We want to see new tourism product that sets the Gold Coast apart from the rest of the world,” Ms Jones said.

“As global tourism hubs are developing around the world we are seeing a greater focus on entertainment, high-end retail and convention centre markets, not gaming revenue.

“That’s why today I can announce we will cap the gaming footprint of any new development at five percent of gross floor area.

“This is similar to the current development of Queen’s Wharf in Brisbane.

“We expect a Gold Coast Global Tourism Hub to create more than 6000 local jobs and attract an extra million tourists each year.

“This could be a game-changer for the Coast by giving the city world-class entertainment and convention facilities, events, tourism experiences and attractions.

“We’ve already had strong interest from the global market since the decision was made in August 2017 to retain a casino licence on the Gold Coast – to build a new global tourism hub for the city.

“In fact, this has been talked about for more than six years and we are determined to get the best outcome for the Gold Coast.”

Assistant Tourism Industry Development Minister Meaghan Scanlon said the Palaszczuk Government was committed to growing the Gold Coast tourism industry which is now worth close to $5 billion and supports more than 40,000 jobs.

“The Gold Coast is one of the fastest growing cities in the country,” she said.

“We need to deliver major infrastructure projects now, to support that growth and create jobs into the future.

“Local residents could also benefit from access to world-class bars, restaurants and infrastructure that wouldn’t be delivered without a Global Tourism Hub.”

Ms Jones said to ensure that the Gold Coast community had a say on the design, scope and location the state government would establish a Gold Coast Tourism Advisory Panel to advise the government throughout the procurement process.

“We’re not going to say yes to anything that does not have the strong support of the Gold Coast tourism industry and broader community,” Ms Jones said.

“The Panel, chaired by prominent Gold Coaster John Witheriff will include representatives from City of Gold Coast, Destination Gold Coast, Gold Coast Airport, local business and community.”

City of Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said the council was committed to working with the state government to deliver a quality new global tourism hub for this city.

“Today is a great day for the Gold Coast,” he said.

“While tourism continues to grow, unless we invest in new opportunities we risk losing market share.

“The previous state government created this casino licence to help Gold Coast reach our tourism potential.

“We’ve lobbied really hard to ensure the Palaszczuk Government honours this licence for the Gold Coast Community.

“We know a global tourism hub will support thousands of new jobs for Gold Coast and has the potential to take tourism to a whole new level.”

Mayor Tate said City of Gold Coast would work with the State Government to advise on suitable sites.

Gold Coast Tourism Advisory Panel chairman John Witheriff said he was committed to ensuring locals make the most of increased investor interest in the Gold Coast.

“I am looking forward to working with all parties including State Government and council to ensure that if an integrated resort development was to go ahead that it delivers the best outcome for Gold Coast residents,” he said.

Queensland Airports CEO Chris Mills said it was important to promote new investment in the Gold Coast.

“We’re investing $370 million to upgrade Gold Coast Airport to grow the local tourism industry,” he said.

“We’ve also started work on a $50 million hotel next to the airport terminal.

“With increased capacity at the airport, new tourism infrastructure is more important than ever before.”

Gold Coast Tourism Chairman Paul Donovan welcomed registrations of interest for a Gold Coast Global Tourism Hub.

“This is a good decision for the Gold Coast,” he said.

“Let’s get out there and see what the market comes back with.”

Potential proponents will have until April to register their interest.

/Public Release. View in full here.