Australia’s Gold Coast will see a tourism and development boom as it prepares to host the 2018 Commonwealth Games, according to the city’s tourism authorities.
The Queensland hub saw off the challenge of Hambantota, Sri Lanka, in a vote on Saturday. Since the announcement, anticipation of what Australia’s sixth largest city will deliver has soared. The 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games will be the biggest event in Australia over the next decade, and although the city’s bid was based on existing facilities, Queensland Premier Anna Bligh said that the city would be “transformed with new infrastructure”.
Gold Coast Tourism CEO, Martin Winter said there would be plenty to look forward to between now and 2018.
“The Gold Coast’s international profile is about to hit new levels as the city builds its promotional momentum towards 2018,” he said. “Spurring that on will be an unparalleled period of new investment and development to further the Gold Coast’s credentials as a truly modern international city, it has already been started with the Queensland Government announcing AU$500 million (US$514 million) direct investment in venue and transport infrastructure.
“We believe more than 120,000 extra tourists will visit the Gold Coast for the 2018 Commonwealth Games with around a 50% split between international and domestic visitors, so the opportunity for our AU$4.5 billion tourism industry is exceptional.
“This is an exciting new phase for Australia’s Gold Coast as it leads the region in its development and accomplishments as a truly world-class city,” Winter added.
Ms Bligh said the Games could generate up to AU$2 billion in economic benefit with up to 30,000 full time-equivalent jobs created between 2015 and 2020.
“In 2018 we will be ready to host a unique world-class and friendly event that builds on the Commonwealth brand and enhances our city’s reputation. This city will be transformed with new infrastructure and a buzz that only a big international event like this can bring,” Ms Bligh said.