Torrents of Olympics-driven cash to flow across state
A Brisbane Olympics would triple Queensland's international visitor revenue in a multibillion-dollar windfall for tourism across the state.
In pre-COVID times, international visitor spending was worth about $7 billion a year to the Queensland economy, but new economic modelling predicts a $20 billion windfall which would flow from the Games' epicentre in the southeast to every corner of the state.
Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast would stand to benefit the most from visitors during the Games, but the prospect of preliminary matches and training camps in other areas of the state would have tourism operators across Queensland champing at the bit.
Just like Sydney's golden Games in 2000 utilised sports stadiums in Brisbane and Melbourne for preliminary games, there is potential for venues in North Queensland to host group stage matches for soccer or basketball, while flow-on benefits could be felt for years.
Queensland Tourism Industry Council CEO Daniel Gschwind said the state's chance to capitalise on the Games started now.
"This will benefit Queensland not just for the duration of the Games, but from this day forward," he said.
"It is the biggest event on the planet and the exposure that comes with that will offer enormous opportunities for regions right across Queensland.
"Whether people come to Brisbane for the Games and want a quick trip to Moreton Island or the Scenic Rim or whether they want to stay for an extra month to explore the Great Barrier Reef or the outback, we can cater to every taste."
International visitors for the Games are likely to add extra length to their stays in Queensland.
With the Games likely to take place in July-August, it flows perfectly into the peak tourist seasons for the state's north and west, where temperatures are less extreme and the waters of the Barrier Reef are not prone to hazardous marine stingers.
Cairns mayor Bob Manning said he was excited by the potential for large-scale tourism - and the economic windfall it could generate.
"What we found with Sydney was we had enormous before- and post-Olympic Games tourism," he said.
"They didn't want to go to Melbourne or Perth, they wanted to explore the Great Barrier Reef, and visit the rainforest."
He said Cairns would throw open its doors to being a training base for athletes or teams:
"If they want to use Cairns, we will open it up," Cr Manning said.
Mr Gschwind said the real benefits would be felt for years afterwards.
"There is a real level of prestige about being an Olympic host that is bestowed upon a destination so you would expect the extra publicity and exposure and level of awareness would transcend into people from all around the world wanting to come here, if not for the Games themselves then for a holiday in the years that follow," he said.
"There's going to be opportunities galore and we can really make something of it."
- Additional reporting Matthew McInerney
Originally published as Torrents of Olympics-driven cash to flow across state