Tourism development

The Gold Coast is Australia's premier tourism destination. We offer support programs and have partnerships in place to help grow our local economy and increase our status in international and domestic tourism markets.

Find out about what support is available to new and existing tourism businesses and investors on the Gold Coast.

Tourism research & data insights

In 2021-22, tourism contributed $1.63 billion directly in valued added, representing 4.9% of total industry value added to the Gold Coast economy. Before COVID-19 (2018-19), tourism contribution accounted for $1.75 billion direct value added, 5.7% of total Gold Coast value added.

Tourism employment on the Gold Coast

In 2021-22, tourism directly employed 24,097 persons, representing 7.5% of total Gold Coast employment. Before COVID-19 (2018-19), direct tourism employment was 23,090, 7.8% of total Gold Coast employment.

Destination Tourism Management Plan

To ensure the sustainable success of the Gold Coast tourism industry, we partner with Destination Gold Coast to deliver the Destination Tourism Management Plan. Note: this plan is currently under review.

Download the Destination Tourism Management Plan(PDF, 4MB)

Activating the night-time economy

The night-time economy is defined as economic activity that occurs at establishments from 6pm to 6am. In 2020-21, the Gold Coast local government area was Australia's the third largest night-time economy, comprising of 3,667 establishments, 36,755 jobs and sales turnover of $4.1 billion.

Our Activate the Night Action Plan 2023-2027 has been developed with input from community consultation and key stakeholders. The comprehensive plan aims to foster a flourishing and prosperous night-time economy while recognising the potential for growth among both existing and new businesses. Additionally, it prioritises the creation of a safe and vibrant nightlife experience.

To learn more, download our fact sheets:

For access to the full report, please email: tourism@goldcoast.qld.gov.au

Gold Coast accommodation investment outlook

COVID-19 presented a unique opportunity for hotels and accommodation providers to consider bringing forward re-investment plans, without displacing occupancy and revenue during usual operations. Based on this opportunity, in 2020 we commissioned an investment outlook study to understand how much re-investment was being planned and what timeframes. In 2022, we commissioned a follow up report to understand any changes to investment intent and current investment priorities across this sector. The 2022 report will be published soon.

Download:

Tourism industry through the lens of diversification: Evidence from Gold Coast economy

This research paper is being developed by our City Economy researchers and economists. It investigates the shock to tourism from the perspective of a regional economy. It will assess diversification within the tourism industry and how each sub-sector contributes to mitigating risk while maintaining the sustainable growth of the industry. This will help us decide the best combination of diversified initiatives and programs in sector development to ensure a more stable long-term growth.

The study will be publishing in July 2023.

Tourism Queensland’s Visitor Data Dashboard

Tourism and Events Queensland’s interactive dashboard provides users with access to International Visitor Survey and National Visitor Survey time series data for visitation and expenditure within Australia

Tourism Research Australia

The International and National Visitor Surveys are published quarterly. They are the most comprehensive source of information on international and domestic visitors to the Gold Coast.

Tourism investment attraction & retention

We continuingly identify opportunities to invest in programs that provide a direct return on investment to our economy.

We offer a range of programs to support new and existing tourism businesses.

These programs deliver benefits across different stages of the business life cycle. Whether it is for the review of the business structure, to enhance digital growth or support to expand or invest into new experiences.

Business Investment Attraction Program

Our investment and business attraction program supports continued growth and new investment in the city.

Creative Tourism Grants Program

Creative tourism grants support projects underpinned by the work of professional artists. Projects must show they will have a reasonable tourism impact.

Digital Growth Program for the accommodation sector

We recognise that the accommodation sector is an important driver for the Gold Coast’s tourism industry and visitor economy. With digital health checks, keynote sessions and direct mentoring from an appointed third-party digital marketing agency, the fully subsidised Digital Growth Program aims to grow local businesses by expanding on their digital marketing capabilities.

Tourism Experience Mentoring Program

The Transformational Experiences Mentoring Program is a 10-week one-on-one mentoring program offered by Tourism and Events Queensland in partnership with Destination Gold Coast and the City of Gold Coast.

Following the success of the pilot program, we are providing additional funding to create more opportunities for eligible Gold Coast tourism operators to participate.

To discuss nominating your business for the next program, please contact us via email: businessgc@goldcoast.qld.gov.au

Trade missions

The NoVacancy Trade Mission targets Gold Coast accommodation providers who are considering a renovation, refurbishment and/or tech upgrades to their property. We are providing support to accommodation providers with analysing their local supplier network and to generate hotel and related business investment in the city. 

In support of local businesses who supply to the hotel and accommodation sector, an additional Supply Chain Event will be held at the end of the first day of the expo.

Tourism support agencies

City of Gold Coast

Our major tourism, education and arts bodies will be merged to create one organisation. The amalgamation includes Destination Gold Coast, Major Events Gold Coast, Study Gold Coast, HOTA and Placemakers. Experience Gold Coast is expected to be operating by the end of 2023.

Destination Gold Coast

Destination Gold Coast operates as a membership-based destination marketing organisation representing the sector and generating increased visitor demand, visitor arrivals, and visitor expenditure for the benefit of the city. It is a funded entity by the Council of the City of Gold Coast.

Major Events Gold Coast

Major Events Gold Coast curates an inspiring and diverse portfolio of events and deliver a whole-of-city strategic approach to major event acquisition, management, and delivery. It is a controlled entity of the Council of the City of Gold Coast.

Study Gold Coast

Study Gold Coast operates as a membership-based organisation and promotes the economic value of the industry in order to expand the city’s talent pool and also seeks to attract employers to engage directly with the education sector by facilitating pathways between students and industry to deliver better career outcomes for graduates. It is funded by the Council of the City of Gold Coast.

Queensland Government

Tourism & Events Queensland

Tourism and Events Queensland is the Queensland's lead marketing, tourism experience and destination development and major events agency.

Department of Tourism, Innovation & Sport

Department of Tourism, Innovation and Sport invests in Queensland’s innovation and tourism sectors to drive economic growth and create jobs. They provide grant funding, infrastructure and planning, events and world-class venues.

Business Queensland

Business Queensland offers a range of initiatives to support tourism businesses. There are different programs to help you start a business, grow your business, develop quality products and services, and increase your market share.

Industry association

Queensland Tourism Industry Council

Queensland Tourism Industry Council is the peak industry body for tourism in Queensland, acting as 'the voice of tourism'. The Council is a not-for-profit, private sector, membership-based organisation representing the interests of Queensland’s tourism and hospitality industry.

Australian Government

Tourism Australia

Tourism Australia is responsible for attracting international visitors to Australia, both for leisure and business events. The organisation is active in 15 key markets and activities include advertising, public relations and media programs, trade shows and industry programs, consumer promotions, online communications and consumer research.

Austrade

The Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade) promotes Australian trade, investment, tourism and education to the world. They deliver services to grow Australia’s economic prosperity.

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