The Gold Coast’s political, tourism and hospitality leaders believe that the commercialisation of parts of the city’s beachfront with world-class food and beverage offerings will take the region to a ‘next level’.
The views have been expressed as part of a ‘Golden Age’ campaign being run by the Gold Coast Bulletin which explores ways of ensuring a brighter future for the city.
Yuhu Group Australia’s stunning Jewel project has figured prominently in the coverage as an example of innovative and upmarket beachside development.
On the Gold Coast the debate about whether to allow businesses to establish hubs on some stretches of the city’s 42 kms of beaches has been going on for many years.
Those who support giving it a go believe it should be done at the edge of the beachfront and not actually on the sand itself. This is consistent with the design of the Jewel project with the outdoor pool areas, terraces, dining areas and bars confined to the site but with the feel of seamless integration with the beach.
The mayor of the Gold Coast Tom Tate supports a beachside trial this coming summer where a small area of the beach is gazetted for some other commercial activities, for example a sunset bar, controlled music and quality food offerings.
The mayor’s vision is for a shared beach experience but with 95 per cent of foreshore remaining as it is, unimpeded for people to relax and enjoy. “We don’t want to lose what we are famous for, but at the same time we need to keep pace with what other world tourism cities such as Miami and Rio De Janeiro are doing,” Cr Tate is quoted as saying.
An area of beach adjacent the Sheraton Mirage was identified as a possible trial location, away from the busier areas of Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach.
Destination Gold Coast chairman Paul Donovan said any initiatives must be done in an up-market style that suits the destination.
Cr Tate added that the Gold Coast cannot take for granted its 13.1 million annual visitors and that the city’s tourism offerings had to be constantly renewed and refreshed.
“… the timing today of the new owners of the $1 billion Jewel triple towers project revealing their beach-edge bar, dining and pool areas literally shows this city the way.
Jewel artist impressions right up to but not spilling on to the sand at Surfers Paradise conjure up stunning visions of what commercialising the beach edge can mean.
As said by Jimmy Huang – director of Jewel’s ownership company Yuhu Group Australia – the aim is for it to take your breath away. And that’s exactly what our coastline does already – so let’s use that even further to our advantage.”