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Travel Daily CEO Update

AFTA Update: Travel Daily Exclusive - 4 April 2018

“LET the games begin” will be the cry today as the XXI Commonwealth Games kick off on the Gold Coast,
Queensland. The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (#GC2018) will bring together some 6,600 athletes from the 70 Commonwealth countries and run for 11 days to wrap up on 15 Apr.

Hosting an international sporting event of this magnitude is of course a great achievement for Australia, the Gold Coast and the Australian Tourism industry as once again our country will be in the spotlight for the right reasons and no doubt good things will follow for the industry.

On the official side of things, Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, arrived in Brisbane this morning to officially open the games this evening at the opening ceremony. Their Royal
Highnesses will be in Queensland for six days and this is not the longest time royals have been on the ground in Queensland. In fact, the Queen and Prince Phillip were in Queensland for longer back in 1954.

Fun fact as they say. Their Royal Highnesses will spend the day at official functions which will include a 21 gun salute, before a walk with the people (that would be us) through the Botanic Gardens allowing what is
hoped to be face-to-face contact with the royals and those who turn out for the event. Let’s hope the Queensland weather holds for the official snaps. In real terms this is a big deal as the future King and Queen of England (Australia et al... the Commonwealth) will be on show and visiting for all to see.

If the Commonwealth Games is not a big enough highlight, I am sure this visit will add to the excitement and attention that this event is going to get. The Queen has sent a message using the baton that has travelled all over the Commonwealth in the lead up to the Games and the Prince opening tonight. A lovely touch and let’s hope that he gets that right as I am sure his mother will be on the couch back at the house in London watching how he goes.

On a more serious note, let’s all hope that these games, the XXI Commonwealth Games, are extremely successful for Australia and all those countries who have joined along with all of the athletes who have
put their hearts and souls into being the best they can be. But also that they are safe, secure, well run and that as the world watches us once again, we do what we do well – show people why Australia is such a
wonderful country for a holiday.