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Gold Coast tourism gears up for Commonwealth Games boost

Tourism across the Gold Coast is expected to improve significantly in the years leading up to the 2018 Commonwealth Games. The Queensland government said hospitality providers are already working hard across the region to support the sporting event, with 16,000 accommodation beds contracted in preparation.

Minister for the Commonwealth Games Kate Jones claimed all eyes will be on the Gold Coast in three years’ time, making it crucial that tourism operators are given the support they need to deliver essential services.

The Commonwealth Games is likely to create a number of opportunities for apprenticeships and traineeships in Queensland, as many companies look to add to their staffing ranks in order to cope with demand.

“Tourism in Queensland contributes $23 billion in expenditure to the economy and employs 241,000 people, and we want to see this industry go from strength to strength,” Ms Jones stated.

“The Queensland Tourism Industry Council will work with accommodation providers, retail, restaurants, taxis and tourist attractions to help ensure we present the best we can for our visitors.”

According to Ms Jones, 180 tourism operators have attended information meetings to learn more about what help, support and opportunities are available in the run-up to the event.

She added that the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation is already close to securing the accommodation capacity required to house officials, technical staff and workforce specialists.

Indigenous employment at the Games

Ms Jones’ comments came as the Queensland government confirmed it would be developing a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) for the Games.

Treasurer Curtis Pitt said the RAP will be designed to help Indigenous employment and the Aboriginal arts and culture sector. He made the announcement at Dreamworld Corroboree ahead of National Reconciliation Week, which runs from May 27 to June 3.

“Since opening in February 2014, Dreamworld Corroboree has created 17 Indigenous jobs, hosted the first Tourism Masterclass on Indigenous employment and is the first theme park in Australia to deliver a RAP,” he stated.

It is hoped the plan developed for the Commonwealth Games will achieve similar successes. Ms Jones encouraged Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to get involved in formulating the RAP, which will cover all four Games sites – the Gold Coast, Townsville, Cairns and Brisbane.

“Queensland is setting the benchmark in Australia by developing the first Reconciliation Action Plan for a major event,” she added.

By Leanne Macnamara, Public Affairs Coordinator

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