Local tourism body Destination Gold Coast is estimating a loss of around AU$1 billion (US$728 million) for the September quarter, impacted by state border closures due to COVID-19.
Home of The Star Gold Coast, Southeast Queensland’s Gold Coast strip is traditionally one of Australia’s most popular tourist spots, attracting more than 5 million people a year in pre-COVID times thanks to its sub-tropical climate, long sandy beaches and array of theme parks.
However, despite Queensland having largely kept COVID-19 at bay as a result of its strict border policies, significant outbreaks in New South Wales and Victoria have been felt particularly heavily by the Gold Coast region which relies heavily on southern tourist dollars.
Destination Gold Coast CEO Patricia O’Callaghan said Monday that the estimated AU$1 billion decline in tourist spent in 3Q21 included a 68% or AU$326 million (US$237 million) decline in September based on pre-COVID numbers.
“Our industry has been facing some of its darkest days having persevered through more than 18 months of hardship,” she said.
“The industry has been hurting. We’ve seen support flow in from Federal and State Governments recently that’s going to go a long way, however COVID has left a hole in the pockets of our tourism operators.”