GCB House and Land feature - Gold Coast generic
GCB House and Land feature - Gold Coast generic

Staggering viral toll on Gold Coast tourism

LABOR is increasing calls for urgent funding to the tourism industry as new analysis shows the likely collapse of Gold Coast international visitor numbers if coronavirus travel bans continue.

Analysis of government and tourism industry data reveals the region could face an annual drop of 400,000 international visitors, accounting for four million hotel nights, under prolonged travel bans.

Deputy Opposition Leader Richard Marles will today meet with hotel industry leaders on the Gold Coast to discuss the fallout from last year's bushfires and the ongoing coronavirus downturn.

Mr Marles said the Government's $76 million tourism package announced during the bushfires looked increasingly inadequate under the worsening industry outlook.

"We know there has been a very significant impact on tourism right across Australia," he said.

"As one of the top five destinations for both international and domestic tourists, the Gold Coast is feeling the impact of the bushfires and coronavirus.

"Given the very significant impact coronavirus is having on the economy, and particularly our tourism sector, the Morrison Government needs to explain why all it is simply doing is just raiding a fund it said was dedicated to helping bushfire affected businesses.



Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham said any claim the package had been rebadged was "petty politics and downright untrue".

"There are no silver bullets to ease the pain being felt by many tourism businesses, with global travel bookings down and Australia one of many nations feeling the impacts of coronavirus," he said

The government was constantly adjusting and refining the message, timing and targets for the package and more targeted help was on the way, he said

Queensland senator Murray Watt, who will join Mr Marles at industry meetings today, said the Gold Coast tourism industry was "feeling the pressure" of the ban on Chinese travel.

"A ban on international travel from some of the city's biggest markets along with a downturn in general international travel and local concerns about coronavirus have had a major impact on the Gold Coast economy," he said.