Digital growth program for the visitor economy

We recognise that digital infrastructure is an imperative success driver for the Gold Coast’s tourism industry and visitor economy. Since inception of the original Digital Growth Program in 2021, Invest Gold Coast has supported 120 tourism accommodation businesses achieve successful digital marketing outcomes with a strong return on investment in their digital infrastructure priorities.

The Program was deemed a success with an average increase in online traffic of 49% and a total ROI of approximately 141:1 (influencing a value of $26.4M in direct and indirect expenditure within the Gold Coast region). The Program also achieved workshops running at an average engagement rate of 60.4%, however, in some rounds it was as high as 100%.

Due to the success of the program to date an expanded version has been designed and developed. The Program is now aimed at all businesses within the Visitor Economy that require a digital online presence.

The City of Gold Coast is once again partnering with Talk Agency to deliver a fully subsidised Digital Growth Program (worth $2100).


We are delivering a fully subsidised opportunity for local tourism businesses that are a part of the visitor economy to receive:

  • digital health checks
  • keynote presentations on the 6 key digital marketing pillars. Topics include Web and Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO), Email Marketing, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Social Media and Digital Advertising
  • six hours of 1:1 mentoring on-site, access to online learning modules and key takeaways
  • supporting training material accessible by participating business via an online training portal
  • Experience Gold Coast will deliver a module on Destination Marketing.

This is a customised training and development program delivered by Talk Agency, one of Australia's leading digital marketing agencies.

Find out more in the following video and on the Talk Agency website.

Program aims

  • Enhance the digital marketing infrastructure of tourism business across tours, attraction, accommodation, transport and hospitality and deliver digital outcomes to grow businesses.
  • Provide customised content suitable for beginners through to intermediate.
  • Retain and grow quality jobs within the tourism industry.
  • Re-invest and address business pain points that are most consistent across the tourism industry.
  • Support tourism providers with sharing of industry best practices.
  • Upskill (talent) staff working in tourism related businesses in the city. Enhance the current skill set, particularly in a time where the industry is experiencing a skills shortage.
  • Improve the global reputation of the city as a place for premier tourism experiences.
  • Build networks with other tourism businesses.


Approval for the funding is at our discretion and must be approved by Council prior to program commencement. Approval will be based on the information you provide in the application.

To be eligible, your business must:

  • be a registered Gold Coast based business, established for more than two years with an active Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • own the product/service/intellectual property that is being promoted
  • complete a short outcomes summary survey following competition of the program back to the consultant
  • be responsible for implementing digital marketing strategies and activities of the proposed program
  • commit to the time requirements of the program
  • commit to delivering the proposed outcomes and recommended targets of the program
  • have an active ATDW listing
  • commit to providing the agency with access to your analytics account. This will be used to provide anonymised, aggregated data that will indicate the successful delivery of the program and results for your business. No data will be attributable back to your individual business.

You are a tourism supply chain operator / a part of the visitor economy if you fall within the below:

  • accommodation hotels, lodges, hostels, caravan parks, and glamping
  • tour- and transport-guided and self-guided tours, excursions, land- and water-based tours, scenic flights, and ferries,
  • attraction museums, art galleries, historic buildings/sites, landmarks, zoos/aquariums, amusement parks, cultural centres,
  • food and beverage restaurants, cafés, bars, breweries, wineries, etc.
  • venues, conference venues and wedding venues
  • any other products or services in the tourism supply chain that are not represented in the above categories upon review.


All sessions will be held in person at a central Gold Coast location.


Visitor Economy Cohort 1: June to August 2024 now open

Applications close: Friday 31 May 2024
Notification: June 2024
Program start date: Monday 17 June 2024

In person key note dates:

Monday 17 June 2024 (midday) – Your designated one-on-ones will commence this week
Monday 22 July 2024 (midday) – Your designated one-on-ones will commence this week
Monday 19 August 2024 (midday) – Your designated one-on-ones will commence this week

How to apply

Complete the following application form. You must provide your ABN.

Apply now

Contact us

For further enquiries please email: