A short hop south of Brisbane (capital of Queensland) on Australia’s eastern coast, the 57km stretch of pristine beachfront coastline known as the Gold Coast is bathed in glorious sunshine for more than 300 days a year. Behind its beachfront visage, however, the once sleepy seaside town has grown into a booming metropolis – the sixth largest in Australia.
Served by two international airports – Gold Coast International Airport (OOL) and Brisbane International Airport (BNE) – the city welcomed a record-breaking 1.1 million international travellers for business and leisure last year.
In April next year, the Gold Coast will gain even more international exposure when it hosts the 2018 Commonwealth Games. The 11-day elite competition will be the second-largest sporting event ever held in Australia (after the Sydney Olympics in 2000), welcoming 6,600 athletes and team officials from 70 nations and territories.
As a global event of major significance, it has received more than A$1 billion (US$785 million) in government funding for the construction of venues such as the Commonwealth Village and Carrara Sports Precinct. Major infrastructural upgrades have also taken place, including a light-rail extension and various road improvements, while private sector investments have followed thick and fast, with a raft of new accommodation venues, event facilities and entertainment options.
This burst of activity has fuelled a boom in the city&r