Extra long weekend on the horizon for Gold Coast

By Greg Bell

Australia Day has just been and many are still wanting to make the most of the extra time they have off. This year, the holiday fell on Thursday, prompting many to believe that employees will take the Friday off as well to snare an extra long break.

While this may be bad news for employers, it's fantastic news for the Gold Coast, as visitors flock to make the most of the high temperatures and gorgeous summer sun.

To leave or not to leave

Operators of popular tourism spots are bracing for a rush of bookings on the Gold Coast this weekend, as it's expected many around the country will either call in sick or take an extra day to make the most of the long weekend.

The Gold Coast is the nation's most popular spot for Australia Day getaways booked through Wotif, reports the Gold Coast Bulletin. Surfers Paradise was the country's third most-popular destination in terms of bookings, with Broadbeach trailing slight behind in ninth place.

Tourism and Transport Forum Australia CEO Margy Osmond said taking a sick day would be pretty obvious to employers, so staff seeking a summer escape should dig in to their annual leave, according to the GCB.

Research commissioned by HotelsCombined found 35 per cent of workers planned not to work on Friday, with 29 per cent of those taking annual leave and nine per cent planning to take sick leave.

While there is contention around lying to take a sick day, more than a third of workers are expected to take annual or sick leave to create a four-day break, with tourism operators expecting this to give the Gold Coast's economy a huge boost.

Adam Spencer, commercial and business development co-ordinator for Gold Coast Tourist Parks, is bracing himself as visitors are expected to pack out the facilities from as early as Wednesday.

"We have approximately 450 reservations including more than 1300 guests checking in on Thursday, and we also have over 350 reservations – more than 1000 guests – arriving on Wednesday," he said.

"While current occupancy rates are high and we expect most of the parks to be full from Thursday there is still some opportunities for families to get their last minute bookings in for the weekend."

Gold Coast Tourism CEO Martin Winter, however, is not surprised at all that the city is popular with tourists across the nation.

"Travelers appreciate the Gold Coast's beautiful natural environment, our evolving food and wine culture, our arts and culture, adventure, shopping and our incredible wildlife," he said.

"As a destination, there is no better place in Australia for families, friends and couples and we will continue to grow demand to support a strong tourism industry and the city as a whole."

Further commercial developments set to rock Gold Coast

While many are putting their feet up, some commercial developers are buckling down for further work. A recent sale by Ray White Commercial's Stephen Kidd is set to redevelop a site in Springwood.

According to the Gold Coast Bulletin, the buyer plans to upgrade the site to new levels of luxury. The end result of the project would be a first for Logan City's 300,000 residents, with a four-star hotel containing 180 rooms ready to be developed.

"AEV Architects have been appointed and discussions are under way with a cinema chain, hotel operators, serviced apartment operators and student accommodation providers," Mr Kidd said.

With the number of overseas blockbuster films taking making the most of the Gold Coast's gorgeous scenery, it's no surprise that a cinema and hotel will draw in big numbers from all around the world.

If you want to discover your own slice of Gold Coast commercial investment, get in touch with the commercial team at Ray White Surfers Paradise today.

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