Large, public events are the heart and soul of a tourist destination – and 2017 is shaping up to be an action-packed year for the Gold Coast. Last year, the Coast was host to a number of events, both big and small, with their success displaying the potential for a greater number in the new year, an exciting time for Gold Coast property owners.
Queensland Tourism's half a million dollar funding boost is set to send tourism even higher. According to Minister for Tourism and Major Events, Kate Jones, $535,000 had been awarded to 21 events across the state through round five of the Tourism and Events Queensland's Destination Events Program, reports MyGC.
"Events play a key role in growing Queensland's tourism economy, increasing overnight visitation, driving visitors to the state and offering them an extraordinary and uniquely Queensland experience," Ms Jones said.
Six events have attained significant funding, including the Broadbeach Country Music Festival, Cooly Rocks On, Viva Surfers Paradise, Winton's Vision Splendid Outback Film Festival, Tara Festival of Culture and Camel Races, and the Airlie Beach Race Week Festival of Sailing. The increased strategic support and marketing will help to raise their profile, as well as promote memorable experiences among visitors.
The successful events of last year were congratulated by Tourism and Events Queensland CEO Leanne Coddington, who said the funding program would provide further tourism growth by offering an appealing platform to host overseas guests.
"Events are a great excuse for people to get out and experience Queensland, and a valuable tool to encourage dispersal throughout our unique destinations," Ms Coddington said.
"There is great variety in Queensland's events scene which plays a significant part in creating memorable experiences for visitors."
Surfers Paradise Alliance (SPA) has unveiled an $80million economic return to local businesses through the 2015 – 2016 financial year, with 50 per cent of visitors to events coming from the drive and interstate markets, SPA said in its biannual report.
According to The Gold Coast Bulletin, the report states attendance at alliance events on the Glitter Strip skyrocketed by a phenomenal 320 per cent over the past five years, from 411,000 in 2010 to over 1.5 million in 2015.
SPA CEO Mike Winlaw said a focus on smaller events that run for longer periods could be credited with helping drive the result home, reports the TGCB. He said the $80 million in economic benefit was also calculated only on the Alliance's tier one events.
"You only have to look at the bottom line to see the overall impact we get from our events exceeds other tourism organisations throughout Queensland," Mr Winlaw said.
"Traders that understand business know they are better off having strong cash flow throughout the year rather than having one big hit every now and again so we are about maintaining a constant flow of foot traffic to the precinct."
The standout for Winlaw was the Sand Safari Arts Festival, attracting nearly 160,000 visitors to the Glitter Strip over its 24-day period. Mr Winlaw said the SPA is always looking to add value to its events by adjusting and restructuring funds.
"Last year we took out A La Carte in the Park because it was not achieving on its economic returns and we put those funds into Surfers Paradise Live which now returns $8million in economic benefit."
Now is a fantastic time to invest in Surfers Paradise and the Gold Coast, with entertainment and construction developments taking the jewel of the coast from strength to strength. If you want to know more about where you can snap up your own piece of the Gold Coast, get in touch with the commercial team at Ray White Surfers Paradise today.