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Destination Gold Coast members say yes to new visitor economy body

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Hundreds of Destination Gold Coast members voted this week on whether to join Experience Gold Coast which will amalgamate five of the region’s major visitor economy entities.

Over 200 members – including members of Business Events Gold Coast – voted in favour of folding into Experience Gold Coast, a proposal that was unanimously supported by the Destination Gold Coast board.

The new organisation will also include Major Events Gold Coast, Study Gold Coast, arts precinct Home of the Arts (HOTA) and arts organisations Placemakers*.

The City of Gold Coast estimates the new entity will save the region $6.8 million each year.

“By aligning with Experience Gold Coast, Destination Gold Coast is going to be part of a stronger and broader organisation dedicated to growing the visitor economy,” said chair of the Destination Gold Coast board – and general manager of the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre (GCEC) – Adrienne Readings.

“We can’t do anything without the support from our members and they have resoundingly backed this vote which marks an important part of history for Destination Gold Coast as an independent membership-based organisation for over 47 years.

“It’s pleasing to see tourism is very well represented on the inaugural Board of Experience Gold Coast – which includes three current Board Directors who know the industry intimately – as well as through the formation of a Tourism Advisory Committee in due course.

“The improved visitor economy co-ordination across tourism, education, events and arts and culture is going to be a critical point of inflection for the city in rebuilding an even stronger strategy for the future of the Gold Coast,” said Readings.

With the Destination Gold Coast vote complete, Experience Gold Coast will begin operating from September 4, although Destination Gold Coast will retain its brand name.

 Destination Gold Coast Interim COO Rachel Hancock said it remained full steam ahead for the region’s tourism agency, as it sought to continue a “three-horizon” recovery strategy after the lockdown years of the pandemic.

“Our 2023/24 Action Plan is underway and was backed by Council earlier this year with additional funds to support aviation attraction and business events subvention. With this endorsement, we’re not taking our foot off the pedal as we re-establish market share,” said Hancock.

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