Ghost Coast: One in five tourism jobs lost as another holiday disaster looms

One in five Gold Coast tourism jobs across 4,600 businesses has folded in the last financial year as the pandemic’s toll continues to crush Australia’s favourite holiday destination and leave the industry “staring at an abyss” until Christmas.

Sep 07, 2021, updated Sep 07, 2021
Gold Coast is growing more quickly than any city except for our capitals. (Image: Supplied)

Gold Coast is growing more quickly than any city except for our capitals. (Image: Supplied)

Not even the September holiday period – that normally would normally generate as much as $7.7b nationally – is expected to give the industry a bump, with modelling showing travelling and spending expected to come in at a mere 10 per cent of those levels.

Research commissioned by the Tourism and Transport Forum shows that 20,094 full and part-time jobs within the Gold Coast tourism industry were lost in the 12 months to June 2021.

A further 4,000 full-time and part-time jobs are expected to go by Christmas, with dire predictions for the upcoming September school holidays, according to the modelling.

The Gold Coast hit shows the relative burden the city has shouldered as the pandemic continues to devastate Queensland tourism.

Almost 40,000 tourism jobs have disappeared across the state, with predictions another 16,000 will be gone by Christmas.

In total, it means that of Queensland’s 135,000 tourism jobs that existed in June 2020, only around 84,000 jobs will remain across the state by December.

Tourism and Transport Forum CEO Margy Osmond said critical Sydney and Melbourne visitors had been lost for three consecutive peak holiday periods due to restrictions and lockdowns, including the July winter school holiday period.

She said the outlook for the September school holidays was “bleak” with NSW and Victoria residents locked down or their movements severely restricted.

Figures show the September holiday period would normally generate $7.7billion over the 14-day period. But this year, with visitation expected to be down 90 per cent nationwide due to lockdowns, the period is likely to generate only around $770 million.

The figures show visitor numbers are expected to be down by around 1.13 million, with the corresponding tourism spend to be slashed by $6.93 billion over the 14 day period, or a daily loss of $495 million nationwide.

Destination Gold Coast CEO Patricia O’Callaghan said tourism was an industry “staring at an abyss”. “With half of Australia’s population currently in lockdown, we are expecting another 4,000 jobs to be lost before Christmas, so we are an industry that is really holding on by a thread at the moment,” O’Callaghan said.

“I think what we do know, however, is that we are staring at an abyss from now until Christmas as this crisis unfolds”

She said short-term support measures were needed such as business hardship grants, wage subsidies and “anything that will help our businesses keep their doors open until the vaccination roll-out is complete.”

“We know that the pent-up demand is there. Our businesses want to hold on. We’re watching what’s happening across the world and we know as soon as restrictions are eased, people are getting out and travelling,” she said.


Local News Matters

We strive to deliver the best local independent coverage of the issues that matter to Queenslanders.

Copyright © 2024 InQueensland.
All rights reserved.
Privacy Policy