Tiring of tourism: Why so many Queenslanders say they wish visitors would stay away

Residents in some tourism hotspots like the Gold Coast are tiring of the impact of the sector on their lives.

Residents in some tourism hotspots like the Gold Coast are tiring of the impact of the sector on their lives.

An emerging issue for the tourism industry and potentially for the Olympics has been revealed in polling, which showed residents in some of the tourism hotspots like the Gold Coast were tiring of the impact of the sector on their lives.

The polling, commissioned by Tourism and Events Queensland, found that 70 per cent of residents on the Gold Coast would prefer the industry did not get any bigger.

Only a third of the Gold Coast’s residents said they liked tourists “which was significantly less than the Queensland average”.

About half said they tolerated tourists because they were good for the economy.

But the state’s tourism capital was not alone in feeling that way. Even in the Outback there was a distinct fall in the number of residents who said they “really like tourists”.

And in Brisbane, the number of people who really liked tourists dropped from 50 per cent to 37 per cent.

It also found there was a distinct difference between the Gold Coast and the rest of the state in dealing with tourists. About 60 per cent said they had no interaction with tourists.

TEQ said there was no single specific reason behind the coast’s attitude, but price inflation for property and goods was often the cause.

Destination Gold Coast would not comment on the polling.

The results of the polling present a problem for the sector in dealing with community expectations and some of the negative aspects of tourism were likely to be a factor in the build-up to the Olympics.

Although the polling found Gold Coast residents recognised there were a lot of economic and social benefits from tourism, the city’s residents “were more likely to agree with all the negative statements about the impacts of tourism than the average Queenslander”.

“And perceptions of tourism’s impact on prices has increased significantly from 2019,” the TEQ polling found.

About half also recognised that tourism led to a rise in delinquent behaviour and more disruption on their lives.

The polling also found a downturn on the Sunshine Coast, where the number of residents “who really like tourists” fell from 38 per cent to 29 per cent.

‘We saw that the number that want more tourists decreased from 34 per cent to 21 per cent with an increasing proportion either wanting tourism numbers to remain about the same or for fewer tourists. The proportion that are happy with continued tourism development also decreased,” the polling found.

Only 16 per cent of Sunshine Coast residents said they felt tourism had a positive impact on their lives.

In the tropical north, almost 60 per cent “really like” tourists.

Residents in the north were the most likely in Queensland to feel that tourism had a positive impact.

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