Top News Gold Coast tourism operators “hanging on by a thread” By TTG Asia / Posted on 7 September, 2021 13:07 One in five tourism jobs across the Gold Coast have been cut in a year, according to new research by the Tourism and Transport Forum. That amounts to a 20 per cent loss of the 20,094 full and part-time direct tourism jobs on the Gold Coast, over a 12-month period to June 2021. Government support a lifeline for Gold Coast tourism industry amid ongoing travel restrictions Destination Gold Coast chairman Paul Donovan said his heart goes out to the 4,600 tourism businesses suffering during this time. “We are proudly Australia’s favourite holiday destination, but our operators are hanging on by a thread,” he said. “Our local tourism industry relies on people travelling to enjoy what the region has to offer and with more than half of Australia’s population under travel restrictions, the impact on the Gold Coast is significant.” Destination Gold Coast CEO Patricia O’Callaghan said the city is in the fight of its life, as mum and dad operators right through to major hoteliers and theme parks struggle to hold on financially and retain a skilled workforce. “These figures are heartbreaking,” she said. “We know the industry will bounce back once people are able to travel again, but until that happens, the industry is requesting targeted financial support from the government. “We appreciate the government’s support to date and the announced A$600 million (US$446.5 million) Business Support Package recently. Measures around business hardship grants and financial mechanisms that allow employers to retain skilled staff and keep them connected to the business until economic conditions improve will be critical.” Following 18 months of hardship, tourism employment on the Gold Coast is forecast to drop by a further 20 per cent, or 4,000 jobs, from now until Christmas, due to state lockdowns and ongoing international border closures.