Speaking at AIME in Melbourne in February, Mr Winter said the appointment of Anna Case as director of business events at the Gold Coast Convention Bureau in late 2012 has resulted in a raft of fresh ideas and new energy, and establishing an ambassadors’ program to help to sell the region and assist in bidding was just one of those.

“We have three large universities on the Gold Coast with in excess of 30,000 students and with very large faculties. Our hospital is the largest teaching hospital in the southern hemisphere. Until now we really haven’t tapped into these resources,” he said.
“We have identified clinicians, scientists and researchers who sit on international [association] boards.
“We want to take our ICCA ranking from where it is now to where it should be – a second tier city with a leisure outlook to among the top 100 in the world in the association meetings sector.”
The latest International Congress & Convention Association rankings (from 2011) puts the Gold Coast number 312 in meetings per city, hosting six international meetings that fit the ICCA criteria.
“Ninety per cent of our conference business is domestic and we still attract 47 per cent of all conference delegates coming to Queensland. It’s fair to say the lion’s share of the big international association business is going to Brisbane.”
He believes the Gold Coast can increase its share of international association business with the assistance of local ambassadors*.
Mr Winter said Ms Case’s appointment to the bureau would deliver considerable economic benefit to the city.
“Her extensive knowledge and experience will add significantly to a sector which delivers considerable economic benefits to the city.
“Anna comes to Gold Coast Tourism with a wealth of international experience in both business events and leisure tourism, having previously worked with Tourism Australia, the Hong Kong Tourism Board, Encore Business Tourism and SquareOne Events,” Mr Winter said.

Having previously run her own Gold Coast business and being a part of the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games winning bid team, Ms Case is passionate about raising the profile of the city.
“The Gold Coast provides the ultimate canvas for business events and as a maturing city, we need to capitalise on opportunities within the corporate and incentives sector, in both domestic and international markets,” she said.
“We are approaching an extremely exciting time in the tourism and business events sector on the Gold Coast as we work towards the 2018 Commonwealth Games, other major events, improved infrastructure, attractions and accommodation. We will be in the best shape to raise the profile of the Gold Coast and I am really looking forward to working at Gold Coast Tourism and making the most of these great opportunities,” she said. m

*The official list of ambassadors was released after the micenet AUSTRALIA April deadline. A full list will appear in the next edition.

ABOVE: Broadbeach © Tourism Queensland

GC secures Australian PGA

The Australian PGA has found a new home on Queensland’s Gold Coast.

Following an extensive search within the Sunshine State where a number of competitive offers were considered, a series of new agreements will now see Australia’s oldest professional golf championship contested on the Gold Coast for the next five years.
The agreements include the renewed support of the Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland, as well as investments by RACV, Gold Coast City Council and Gold Coast Tourism.
CEO of the PGA of Australia, Brian Thorburn, said the partnerships will provide major leverage to grow the championship into one of the biggest events on the Gold Coast calendar.
“The Australian PGA Championship presented by Coca-Cola holds great importance to the entire PGA membership, and the relocation to RACV Royal Pines on the Gold Coast now provides us with the required assets to grow the tournament,” he said.
“With a significant population base and its natural tourism appeal, we now have a wonderful opportunity to attract increased interstate and international visitors to the region and contribute considerably to targets set by Tourism Australia as part of their 2020 vision.”
Minister for Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games, Jann Stuckey, welcomed the PGA’s decision to host the championship on Queensland’s Gold Coast.
“I am pleased the organisers have been able to secure a new venue which will allow them to get on with planning for the 2013 tournament to be held later in the year,” Ms Stuckey said.
“As we look toward the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, it is major international sporting events like this that showcase the Gold Coast as a premier event and holiday destination.”
The Australian PGA Championship moves to the Gold Coast after 11 years at Coolum.

ABOVE: The home of the ANZ Ladies Masters, RACV Royal Pines Resort, will now be home to the Australian PGA.