Gold Coast set to digitally track visitors to sharpen tourism edge

The Gold Coast is considering tracking its visitors through their use of credit card and mobile telephone data as part of an effort to boost its tourism sector by up to $3 billion.

Meeting today, councillors are expected to approve a digital city platform, which will enable the Gold Coast to stay one step ahead of other destinations with its detailed knowledge of tourist spending patterns through “five different data sets”.

The $3 million Events, Economy and Insights Project will collect data from telcos, along with major banks and credit card companies.

“We’ve already been looking at this through the last couple of years through the Commonwealth Bank, who are the council’s major banking provider,” Council chief innovation and economy officer Ian Hatton told the Gold Coast Bulletin.

“Nobody knows anything about people once they arrive. So to give you some idea of where the opportunities are out there, if every visitor to the Gold Coast bought an extra cup of coffee while they were here, that’s worth about $50 million into the economy.”

The Gold Coast’s major events portfolio is worth about $200 million to the local economy and it aims to increase the value to over $450 million by 2025.

Destination Gold Coast CEO Annaliese Battista said the lack of data could see the Gold Coast “go backwards against our competitors”.

“What we are proposing is to bring those data sets together, in a completely secure environment, run those analytics during the Christmas period,” she said.