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Gold Coast preparing to amalgamate visitor economy entities

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The local government on Queensland’s Gold Coast is set to merge five of the destination’s major outward looking entities.

This week, the City of Gold Coast announced the new board for Experience Gold Coast, which will come into being later this year as the result of an amalgamation of Destination Gold Coast, including Business Events Gold Coast, Major Events Gold Coast, Home of the Arts (HOTA), Study Gold Coast and Placemakers.

Home of the Arts is a major cultural precinct on the Gold Coast, which includes the region’s new regional art gallery, while Placemakers in an arts agency, tasked with growing the cultural ecosystem on the Gold Coast.

The merging of these five organisations, which each play a key role in the destination’s short and long-term visitor market, is expected to save the city $6.8 million every year.

“We need an overarching strategy, a better governance structure and more alignment,” said Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate, in February when the council resolved to merge the organisations.

“We don’t need multiple boards, multiple visions and duplication of effort.

“The work we need these entities to do is too important. We need them to be one team, heading in the same direction, together.”

This week, the council announced that former premier of Queensland, Rob Borbidge AO, will chair the board of Experience Gold Coast, with eight other board directors also revealed.

Currently on the board of Major Events Gold Coast, Jackie Cross will join the Experience Gold Coast board, as will the artistic director of Brisbane Festival, Louise Bezzina, Clark Kirby, currently on the boards of both Major Events Gold Coast and Destination Gold Coast, former state tourism minister Kate Jones, Adam Twemlow, currently on the board of Destination Gold Coast, Danielle McFall-Weiss, a current board director of HOTA, and Rebecca Frizelle OAM, co-owner of the Gold Coast Titans and a member of the Destination Gold Coast board.

Tim Baker, CEO of the City of Gold Coast and Tate will also take up places on the board.

More than 100 expressions of interest were received for the handful of board positions available.

“As expected, the applications were of an extremely high calibre and choosing just eight was not easy,” said Tate.

“But we are confident we have an extremely committed and passionate group who understand the vision we have for this entity and the Gold Coast.

“This is a really exciting time for the Gold Coast as we look towards 2032 and we need to keep our eye on the ball, leveraging every opportunity that comes our way.”

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