Holidaying on the Gold Coast
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Since the 1980s, the Gold Coast has consistently ranked as the third most popular destination among Australian cities for domestic travellers (after Melbourne and Sydney) and fourth or fifth most popular destination for international travellers. Tourism has been and remains central to the development of the city of Gold Coast: it is the main economic activity and source of employment within the city. In 2013, tourism sustained more than 30 000 direct jobs in the city, and directly contributed $4.7 billion to the economy (City of Gold Coast 2014a), demonstrating its importance to the Gold Coast. Tourism has also directly influenced the Coast’s urban landscape, with the numerous high-rise buildings along the coastline being iconic features of the city. Development along the coastal strip has been prolific and led to three quite distinct areas: a densely populated, high-rise coastal beach area, surrounded by suburban sprawl and backed by a green semirural hinterland containing a small population – the ‘green behind the gold’ (Potts et al. 2013, p. 323). Most of the hotels and resorts are located in the northern precincts of the city at Southport, Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach, while the southern end of the Gold Coast is characterised by mostly older accommodation stock (Dredge and Jamal 2013). The hinterland has a distinct character, containing Queensland first national park (Frost 2004) and small-scale, dispersed tourism developments, such as health retreats, chalets and lodges, and bed and breakfast accommodation, as well as local art and craft, food and wine and nature-based tourism experiences.
Off the Plan: The Urbanisation of the Gold Coast
History and Theory of the Built Environment (excl. Architecture)