Teeing off 2015 in the Gold Coast

By Greg Bell

In many ways 2015 is set to be a bumper year, with many looking to the real estate market and the tourism industry to boost the profile of Queensland and its various cities on the national economic stage.

An event that sees a flurry of tourism and corporate involvement, the Australian PGA Championship, is set to stay on the Gold Coast. The major golfing event which ran from 11 to 14 December this year and finished in a breathtaking seven hole play off was held at the RACV Royal Pines Resort.

According to Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ) the championship is a major draw card for golfing enthusiasts and participants, and will be returning in 2015. The opportunity to invest in tourism-related businesses and real estate ahead of the event is clear, as is the chance to enjoy related activities with corporate clients or commercial partners. A round of golf ahead of the championship could be a great way to cement relationships in 2015.

Tourism set to benefit

Minister for Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games, Jann Stuckey announced on the last day of the tournament that the event would return to the Gold Coast in 2015.

"It is with great pleasure I announce the Australian PGA Championship will remain on the Gold Coast until 2017 under a new agreement between Tourism and Events Queensland and the PGA of Australia," said Ms Stuckey.

The long-standing golfing tournament has become a fixture in the Gold Coast social and tourism calendar and lends itself perfectly to the long-term plan for tourism in Queensland. Ms Stuckey noted that Queensland's 20-year plan for tourism, 'Destination Success', acknowledges the importance of securing such major events.

Ms Stuckey said that TEQ will be working in partnership with the PGA to ensure that the championship exceeds all expectations in coming years, with associated events and programmes set to enhance the tournament's appeal to golf holiday makers looking for a full-package vacation. Options being considered include a series of live music concerts, expanded fan zones and a stadium experience around the 16th hole.

Investors looking to capitalise on the popularity of the tournament should look into commercial real estate opportunities surrounding the event, providing accommodation, services or venues for related activities. Seizing the opportunity in the early parts of 2015 could see a significant benefit for those that wish to avoid being squeezed out of the proceedings closer to the time.

Sports and commercial investment opportunities in Queensland

The PGA Championship is not the only major sporting event to make waves in Surfers Paradise and the rest of Queensland over the coming years. The lead up to the Commonwealth Games in 2018 has led to an increased focus on making the Gold Coast a world-class city to host world-class events.

In a 2013 statement regarding the Australian PGA Championship, Ms Stuckey acknowledged that the event, which is the nation's oldest professional tournament, is one of many sporting events that contributes tourism dollars to the Queensland economy.

"As we look toward the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, it is major international sporting events like this that showcase the Gold Coast as a premier event and holiday destination," she said.

With a wealth of high-profile events broadcasting the exceptional nature of Queensland as a tourism, business and lifestyle destination, it is certainly an opportune time to capitalise on the interest in the area.

Hospitality and tourism focused real estate opportunities could be the key to generating a significant passive income over the coming years, with many internationally recognised events set to enrich the local community and economy.

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