The 2018 Commonwealth Games are fast approaching, and the Gold Coast is making sure it will be ready for the influx of people who will descend on the region over the next two years.
As part of the preparations, 63 people have taken part in a range of training initiatives to make sure services can be effectively delivered before and during the tournament. The Embracing 2018 Gold Coast Quality Service Project encompasses a number of different modules, with each one designed to make sure the corporate sector is as prepared as it can be for what lies ahead.
Gold Coast Tourism chief executive officer Martin Winter is behind the programme, which has seen participants undertake a module on delivering a welcoming service. A variety of people have already been involved, including business owners, senior managers and members of the Queensland police.
Making the Gold Coast stand out as somewhere that offers exceptional service has potential to benefit areas beyond the tourism industry. There's an opportunity for commercial property for sale in Surfers Paradise to be snapped up as businesses recognise the benefits of being associated with this part of Queensland.
"Our people are our greatest asset. Anyone coming in contact with visitors to the city become ambassadors for the city, the state and Australia more broadly," Mr Winter acknowledged.
The initiative has so far proved successful, so Mr Winter confirmed it would be rolled out across other areas over the next few months. Although the Commonwealth Games might still be more than two years away, making preparations now will ensure everyone is ready to help make them as profitable as they possibly can.
There is plenty of infrastructure associated with the tournament that's being put into place. This includes the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games headquarters, which were recently opened in Ashmore.
This is where planning for the Games will take place, as the offices include 33 meeting rooms, 338 workstations and WiFi connectivity to make sure sufficient progress can be made.
It has also provided an opportunity for many local businesses to get involved. Commonwealth Games minister Kate Jones explained that many suppliers have been from the local area. They've fitted out the offices and made them secure, ensuring all those involved in the planning stages have a hub to be able to work from.
So far, 93 per cent of the work that has been completed has been performed by contractors based in the Gold Coast and south-east Queensland. The first stage of this project was completed in December last year, followed by stage two in late May. This latest achievement is the penultimate stage before the project is due for completion in the middle of next year.
Other infrastructure developments that have scope to improve commercial property on the Gold Coast include a light rail project, which should also be completed ahead of the Commonwealth Games.
Stage two of the project has just received $95million of funding, which will provide a more reliable connection between the Gold Coast and Brisbane. It will link five of the competition venues used during the tournament, as well as accommodation and public transport interchanges.
It is hoped that the rail links will minimise congestion and encourage people to see public transport as a reliable alternative to their usual methods of travel. Stage one has already proved successful, as it has led to a 25 per cent rise in public transport usage during its first year alone.