‘We are already doing much better than last year’

 

A Wave of tourists from NSW has helped cement the Gold Coast's reputation as Australia's tourist capital, with businesses reporting a big jump this summer.

Domestic tourists have flooded back, with accommodation providers revealing 80-90 per cent occupancy across the Glitter Strip for Christmas and the new year.

Restaurants have reported packed sittings nightly, with customer foot traffic up 25 per cent in some cases.

Artist impression of The Vortex ride at Sea World's The New Atlantis. Picture: Village Roadshow
Artist impression of The Vortex ride at Sea World's The New Atlantis. Picture: Village Roadshow

Domani's boss Neil Fisher said crowds had been up consistently in Main Beach's Tedder Ave for the festive break.

"There are a lot of people around for Magic Millions and they are pretty good spenders as well. We are about 25 per cent up on last year," he said.

"There has been a lot of people coming in from Brisbane and interstate and it has been a lot better than last year.

Domani's Restaurant in Main Beach owner Neil Fisher. Picture: Lawrence Pinder
Domani's Restaurant in Main Beach owner Neil Fisher. Picture: Lawrence Pinder

"We haven't had any challenges, but we had a lot of thirsty people who purchased a lot of soft drinks and water."

Crowds have flocked to the party precinct, with long-running Costa D'Oro Italian eatery and Surfers Paradise Beach Cafe delighted at the summer business boom, reporting 10 per cent bumps in customers.

Costa D'Oro's Michael Fusco said: "Trade has been great; we've had very good numbers. There's definitely a lot more tourists from interstate. This time of the year is busy, we are running at peak anyway so it is busier."

Costa D'Oro owners Michael and Nuccia Fusco. Picture: Richard Gosling
Costa D'Oro owners Michael and Nuccia Fusco. Picture: Richard Gosling

The surge in visitors from NSW particularly comes on the back of data last year which showed revival of interest from interstate visitors, bolstering the city's $5 billion industry.

The National Visitor Survey data for the year ending June 30 showed record number s from Sydney and Melbourne, up 13.2 per cent and 17.1 per cent respectively.

Destination Gold Coast CEO Annaliese Battista said the city was experiencing "solid" visitation.

The Coast has seen big crowds over the summer period. Picture: Mike Batterham
The Coast has seen big crowds over the summer period. Picture: Mike Batterham

"Anecdotally, Gold Coast accommodation providers have reported overall occupancy is on par or above last year's levels," she said. "Early data and feedback shows there was a spike in bookings for the month of December, which are up on last year."

Village Roadshow is preparing to unveil its new Vortex ride at Sea World next month.

"This summer we have seen a resurgence of people coming back into the parks, particularly from the interstate markets," Village theme park COO Bikash Randhawa said.

"Wet'n'Wild especially has seen a significant increase. For once, theme parks are firing on all cylinders together. We are feeling extremely positive."