Revealed: The plan to reboot Coast’s $6B industry
BRISBANE and northern NSW residents suffering cabin fever will be heavily targeted to help get the Gold Coast's $6 billion tourism industry back on its feet.
Tourism bosses will roll out a staged campaign aimed initially at locals before building to interstate markets and finally New Zealand.
It will be launched before borders re-open in a bid to beat other destinations to the market.
Destination Gold Coast chief executive Annaliese Battista said the city needed to plant its flag now, ahead of other rivals.
"The early phase of the campaign will be before people can actually travel and we will be getting the message out that we want them to come back and play," she said.
"We will be putting these out through social media to remind people about all the reasons they love the Coast. It's about building anticipation.
"There will be a staggered approach, first towards the drive market of Queensland and northern NSW and then to the fly and drive markets of Sydney and Melbourne and then on to the New Zealand bubble."
The lucrative Kiwi market was being heavily targeted by Destination Gold Coast before the COVID-19 pandemic closed borders last month, cutting the campaign short.
Tourism is worth more than $6 billion to the Gold Coast but the city's biggest industry was forced into hibernation by the coronavirus crisis, with all non-essential international and interstate travel canned.
It is understood to have coast the Coast more than $1 billion since February.
The drive and domestic market are considered crucial to the Gold Coast recovery with mainstream international flights not expected to return for some time.
The collapse of Virgin into voluntary administration last week has also put the industry under significant pressure.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk's weekend announcement of some restrictions being relaxed has seen calls for the tourism industry to be given greater freedom to operate again.
Mayor Tom Tate yesterday said Gold Coast tourism needed to be prepared for a greater easing of restrictions.
"What I'll be encouraging Destination Gold Coast and others concerned with regional tourism to do is to really start planning to do a gradual invitation to come back," he said.
"I'd like to see all regional tourism come together.
"That means Tweed, Destination Gold Coast, the Hinterland to work out packages that get people to holiday … from northern New South Wales to the Sunshine Coast.
"The State Government and Tourism Queensland should come on board and help co-ordinate regionally what we should do."
But Ms Battista said rebooting the industry would be a longer-term prospect and warned the market would be dramatically different from the pre-COVID-19 era.
"We are going to have to be incredibly clever in using traditional media such as television, billboards and mass media because we will need to get cut through," she said.
"The Gold Coast will be competing with a lot of money being sunk into the domestic market from other destinations.
"It will be a much more competitive market than it was before COVID-19 and we will have to boost our voice."
Originally published as Revealed: The plan to reboot Coast's $6B industry