How tourism can do the business in Southport

Sarah Gardiner, Griffith University, on beach with Gold Coast high rise skyline in background.
Dr Sarah Gardiner believes the future of commercial tourism rests with young entrepreneurs

How Southport could become the Gold Coast’s multicultural dining district. How Southport businesses can build on the back of the Commonwealth Games. How important students are and will be to Southport’s economy.

These will be among the topics addressed by Griffith University’s Dr Sarah Gardiner when she addresses the Southport Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday (July 1).

Dr Gardiner, a researcher at the Griffith Institute for Tourism, will explore Southport’s role in the future of Gold Coast Tourism and how local businesses can benefit during a presentation which will also examine the history of Southport and its role and influence on tourism to date.

  • Book here to attend ‘Business After Dark’ special event

“The growth of Asia and Chinese tourism will have a major bearing on the future of tourism on the Gold Coast,” she said. “Eating out is a key part of the tourist experience and Southport undoubtedly has a part to play. Its diversity of Asian and international restaurants and cafes can make it a real hub of multicultural food and drink experiences.”

The importance of education tourism to the suburb, and how local business can maximise the influx of international students who live and socialise in the area will also be discussed. “Southport is very much the heartland of this market,” Dr Gardiner said.

She will consider the latest state-of-the-industry report developed by GIFT with Gold Coast Tourism and City of Gold Coast, and the potential ramifications for businesses in Southport.

Emerging trends in the domestic tourism market will also be highlighted and what the Gold Coast can do to meet the needs of Australian travellers.

Southport Chamber of Commerce President Laird Marshall believes Wednesday’s Business After Dark special event could be very useful for local businesses targeting mid to long-term economic benefits from Gold Coast tourism.

“It’s important to get a holistic and unbiased overview of what tourism opportunities are there for the Gold Coast and, particularly, for Southport,” Mr Marshall said.

“Southport is not normally considered a high tourist destination compared to other parts of the Gold Coast so it will be valuable to look at Southport as a destination for overseas tourists.

“This will be especially relevant in the lead-up to the Commonwealth Games and possibly even more so in their aftermath. Without encroaching on other tourist businesses on the Coast, we will be trying to build on the Games’ legacy here in Southport. To achieve this we will probably need to do something different to other businesses and operators.”

WHAT: Southport Chamber of Commerce ‘Business After Dark’ event

WHO: Dr Sarah Gardiner, Griffith Institute for Tourism

WHEN: Wednesday, July 1, 5.45pm to 7.30pm

WHERE: Southport Yacht Club