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(Australian Associated Press)
Many Gold Coast tourism operators expect to employ more people during the Commonwealth Games that will soon be held in the Queensland holiday capital.
A survey of more than 500 Gold Coast Tourism members shows that just over 22 per cent of respondents expect to increase their staff numbers for the Games between April 4 to 15.
Gold Coast Tourism CEO Martin Winter says the result isn’t surprising and is a clear indicator of the economic boost the Games should give the city.
“We survey our members every year and this time we added a section on the Commonwealth Games, given that it is such a unique experience for the city,” he said.
He said 20 per cent were still unsure if they would need more staff so many of them too may also have to expand their workforce.
“A total of 57 per cent said they were unlikely to increase their staff and they would be the ones that already have scale and size or know that they can cope with the increased crowds.”
The GCT survey also showed that 70 per cent of operators viewed the Games positively. About 26 per cent were neutral about the big event while a small four per cent feared its impact.
This is the biggest event the Gold Coast has ever hosted, and the largest Australia will host this decade, so we are pleased so many tourism operators are enthusiastic about it, Mr Winter said.
“The fact that there is a handful concerned is very understandable and we empathise with them. There will be disruptions of course, just as there are now with our other big events such as the GC600 V8 Supercars or the Gold Coast Airport Marathon.
“But the upside is tremendous.”
The survey shows that more than 76 per cent of the industry believes they are well-prepared for the Games, he said.
A separate Griffith University study, commissioned by the Office of Commonwealth Games, predicts the Gold Coast will welcome 670,000 visitors over the Games period, including more than 265,000 domestic overnight stays.
This is about a 30 per cent increase on the average Gold Coast visitor volume.
The economic impact from tourism associated with the Game will be $320 million.
The Griffith study also says more than 15,000 jobs will be created across the city, in tourism and beyond, this year.
AAP, in collaboration with the City of Gold Coast and Gold Coast Tourism, is publishing a range of newsworthy content in the lead-up to the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.