New entity to innovate, drive visitation and economic growth

Published on 24 February 2023

The ocean behind Surfers Paradise

City of Gold Coast’s five largest funded and controlled entities will be merged into a single organisation charged with driving visitation growth and economic investment.

Experience Gold Coast will be the amalgamation of HOTA, Destination Gold Coast, Major Events Gold Coast, Study Gold Coast and Placemakers, Council resolved today.

The decision was made at a Special Council Meeting following discussions on the findings of last years’ independent review of the current model which features each entity operating separately and with their own boards.

The move will result in about $6.8 million in direct savings for the City each year which will be reinvested into the entity for tourism, events, arts and education outcomes.

A $1.5 million community arts fund will also be established.

“The findings are clear,” Mayor Tom Tate said.

“We need an overarching strategy, a better governance structure and more alignment. We don’t need multiple boards, multiple visions and duplication of effort.

“The work we need these entities to do is too important. We need them to be one team, heading in the same direction, together.”

“Today’s decision will see our city adopt the proven formula of other global cities by creating a single entity to drive growth and opportunities in these key areas.” 

He said City CEO Tim Baker would now begin the process of appointing a transitional CEO and advisory committee to bring together the five functions.

Mayor Tate said the City had engaged with the entities throughout the process and officers would continue to keep them informed of the changes.

“I would like to thank the board members for their hard work and commitment to the Gold Coast during one of the most challenging times we have seen.”

The new entity is expected to be established by the end of the year.