Gold Coast tourism down $40m as coronavirus and bushfires bite

The Gold Coast tourism industry is down around $40 million following the outbreak of the coronavirus in China and the recent bushfires.

Speaking to myGC, Destination Gold Coast CEO Annaliese Battista said the latest setback from the coronavirus “couldn’t have come at a worse time”

“Australia is one of the most popular destinations for the Chinese, and in fact China is the Gold Coast’s largest international market,” she said.

“So we are seeing cancellations already and we do expect that to last for several months.”

Figures show cancellations are already around 20 percent, with long term estimates not showing any hope of an upswing.

Battista told myGC ”we could be in a bit of a predicament for quite some time”.

“At the moment our very rough estimate – and this is best case scenario and assuming that coronavirus is resolved soon – is that we’ve already taken, as an industry, about a $40 million hit,” she said.

With 92 per cent of the visitors to the Gold Coast from within Australia, Battista says they will be focusing their messaging on the local market, alongside New Zealand.

But when the coronavirus threat has passed, she says the Gold Coast will be ready to “welcome the Chinese tourists back with open arms”.