Mantra Group CEO Bob East is one of many who are looking at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (GC2018) as an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Queensland and the Gold Coast to “take tourism to the next level”. “The Commonwealth Games will provide a terrific platform for promotion and profile, showcasing Queensland to would-be visitors from further afield,” he says. “With just one year to go, the world spotlight is already on the state and
what we have to offer. This is our time to shine, to showcase our state and its many attractions, and position Queensland as a key and highly desirable destination.”
As Queensland’s largest accommodation provider, Mantra Group will play a its part in accommodating the many visitors coming for the Games.
“Tens of thousands of room nights will be required for the event and demand for accommodation at our 23 Gold Coast properties during the Games is at an all-time high,” he says.
“Extensive team business has caused the average length of stay at our properties to increase substantially in the lead up to and during the Games. In 2018, we’re predicting a strong uplift in occupancy year on year.”
Jupiters is also preparing for the good times, transitioning to a new name and brand becoming The Star Gold Coast. The property has been steadily undergoing a massive redevelopment with six new food and beverage offerings, 596 refurbished hotel rooms and a luxury poolside experience among the already completed features. But the best is yet to come, with a new six-star luxury hotel at the front of the property set to open before the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
“The Gold Coast’s reputation as a must-visit destination continues to strengthen with both leisure and business travellers, so we are working to create a broad offering that will help to support this well into the future,” says The Star Entertainment Group’s managing director, Queensland Geoff Hogg.
Approvals have also been received for an additional 200m tall hotel and apartment tower on Broadbeach Island slated for 2020. The 4.5 star 700-room tower could be the first of up to five in a master plan for the property developed as part of a joint venture with partners Chow Tai Fook and Far East Consortium, and when complete, will increase the property’s overall accommodation to almost 1400 rooms.
Anna Case, director of Gold Coast Business Events, says all the new facilities being built are delivering more choice for business events.
“The Star Gold Coast represents a significant enhancement to our business events offering,” she says. “At the same time, many hotels are undergoing upgrades and refurbishments which give us a clear competitive edge.
“We’re also excited about the extension to our light rail system which will take our public transit to a new level, connecting to heavy rail and enabling transfers from Brisbane International Airport.
“The new sporting facilities will give large groups new options for gala dinners, exhibitions and off site events, providing a broader range of venue
choice for event planners.
“Public spaces are now being transformed and upgraded, with millions spent enhancing parklands incorporating artwork, paving, recreational spaces and pavilions.”
One of the major public infrastructure projects taking shape is the Cultural Precinct, with Stage 1 offering outdoor performance, event and civic space in time for the Commonwealth Games.
New opportunities for arts and cultural programming, under the management of The Arts Centre Gold Coast, will be available, while the amphitheatre will be equipped for “plug and play” performances for audiences of up to 1000 people, with a capacity for “bump in” equipment catering to larger events of up to 5000 people.The number of meetings and conferences held on the Gold Coast increased by 21 per cent to June 30, 2016. The results
also revealed that the economic impact of business events increased from the previous 12 months, with a direct injection to the Gold Coast economy of an estimated $565 million.
Already, nearly 12,000 delegates have registered for 29 sport-related conferences and meetings on the Gold Coast as a direct spin-off from the Commonwealth Games.
“We’re focused on targeting sporting related and allied health associations and corporate groups to meet pre and post GC2018,” says Case. “We’ve identified a strong interest from these groups to tap into an event of this scale and to soak up the atmosphere of the host city.”
The Games themselves are set to bring more than 100,000 visitors, athletes and officials to the state.
“As we prepare to host the biggest event Australia will see this decade, the city has never looked better or offered a depth of product and experiences more in tune with the needs of conference organisers and delegates,” Case says. “This is great news for business events and we’re excited to get that message out to the marketplace.”