September 9, 2021 | By Bronwen Largier | Image: Tourism Australia

The CEO of Destination Gold Coast says the city is in a fight for its life after the latest research from the Tourism and Transport Forum showed tourism jobs on the Gold Coast are down 20 percent on June 2020.

“These figures are heartbreaking,” said Patricia O’Callaghan, who heads up the region’s major visitation organisation.

“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 $600 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.”

The Gold Coast is expecting to lose another 20 percent of tourism jobs – that’s another 4,000 – by Christmas due to the current lockdowns of Melbourne and NSW and associated travel restrictions

O’Callaghan said the whole visitation sector was being affected from small operators to major hotels and the theme parks who were struggling to hold on financially and retain skilled staff.