The Gold Coast may yet be set for an upturn, with a vote of confidence from a major employer, according to recent announcements.
Qantas resumed direct flights between Sydney and the Gold Coast yesterday, in what is being called a “major show of confidence in Queensland’s tourism industry”.
“From today, Qantas will operate three daily return services between Sydney and the Gold Coast, opening the skies for up to 3,528 extra visitors a week,” minister for tourism, major events, small business and the commonwealth games, Jann Stuckey said.
Ms Stuckey said that the area has been proven by recent tourism figures to still be an attractive destination.
“An extra 82,000 people passed through the Gold Coast airport last month, which was a 19 per cent increase on the same period last year,” she said.
“The city is also one of Australia’s fastest growing business communities and Qantas’ return reflects the growth potential in this area.”
An $8 million Attracting Aviation Investment fund has been created to encourage more airlines to fly to Queensland.
“Our goal is to grow overnight visitor expenditure in Queensland to $30 billion by 2020 and aviation access will be the key to achieving that goal,” she said.
This also comes as a registration of interest process has been announced to potentially redevelop the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre.
“The government has made no decision about the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre and is continuing negotiations with the Gold Coast City Council on the matter,” she said.
“This is consistent with the government’s approach of looking to see if it is feasible to accelerate the redevelopment of the Aquatic Centre.
“By taking this action, the government will be able to move forward quickly with the redevelopment if the decision is taken to do so.”
The centre will be upgraded for the Commonwealth Games.