Low tide for Gold Coast Easter trade
A photo from February 22 shows erosion of the beach at Surfers Paradise due to wild seas. Photo: Michelle Smith
Life's a beach. Then you try to convince people you have one.
More accustomed to talking up the property market, Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate has spent his Wednesday morning trying to convince travellers that the tourist haven's biggest attraction is still worth visiting.
Easter is one of the busines times for the coast, and Mr Tate wants to be sure people won't abandon the popular strip.
Bookings are 10% to 15% below where tourism operators would normally see them, which means larger Gold Coast hotels are piling on the deals to fill empty rooms.
It's a scenario the tourism industry would rather not resort to - relying on last-minute bookings to ensure occupancy levels meet forecasts and projections.
"We know people will want to look at last-minute bookings," Gold Coast Tourism director of marketing and communications Ben Pole said.
Concerns come after a rough summer of rain, wind and storms which have battered the coast, causing heavy erosion in some areas.
During an inspection of coastline between Broadbeach and Surfers Paradise, Mr Tate said the Council was spending $20,000 a day in an effort to return beaches to their pristine best - or at least safe enough for holidaying families to access.
"I want everyone to know that the Gold Coast is still the best place in Australia to come for an Easter break," he said.
The mayor was also talking up non-beach attractions, including the coast's theme parks, restaurants and a festival being planned for Surfers Paradise during the Easter break.