In the lead up to the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, Tourism Australia is promoting Australia and the Gold Coast in key tourism markets around the world.

Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Steven Ciobo has announced International Association of Athletics Federations President and Former British Olympic Association Chair, Lord Sebastian Coe, has officially been made a Friend of Australia.

Minister Ciobo said Tourism Australia’s Friend of Australia program is a network of opinion leaders acting as passionate advocates for our country, sharing their personal and authentic Australian stories through their networks.

“As a former Olympic gold medallist and world record holder, Lord Coe is a great choice to be part of the Friends of Australia program,” Minister Ciobo said.

“With the Queen’s Baton officially in Australia now, there are just over 80 days until the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games begin, and Lord Coe will return again for April’s event,” he said.

“It’s an exciting time as previous sporting events like the 2000 Sydney Olympics, 2003 Rugby World Cup, 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games and 2015 Cricket World Cup have typically attracted international visitors that stay longer, disperse more widely and importantly, spend more.”

Lord Coe was full of praise for Australia during his recent visit to Queensland and Victoria with his family.

“Australia excels at hosting major sporting events. Sydney was a wonderful Olympic Games, the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne raised the bar and I’m confident that the Gold Coast is set to do the same,” he said.

“With the love and passion for sport in the DNA of all Australians and the nation’s welcoming instincts, it’s clear that the Gold Coast is going to host a very visitor-friendly championships”.

The Gold Coast event will feature the largest integrated sports program in Commonwealth Games history, comprising 18 sports and seven para-sports.

Queensland will be transformed for the event, to accommodate the influx of athletes and visitors, including state-wide free wifi, free transport on all City of Gold Coast trams, and the transformation of public parks, beaches, waterways and streets into over 100 artistic and cultural installations and performances across the state for Festival 2018.

The Commonwealth Games will be the largest sporting event held in Australia this decade and the biggest sporting spectacular ever hosted in a regional city, and more than 1.5 billion people globally are expected to watch the Games on TV.

More than 100,000 visitors, 6,600 athletes and team officials from 70 nations and territories are predicted to travel to the Gold Coast for the Games, which are expected to provide a significant economic impact of about $2 billion to the city.

Media enquiries

  • Trade Minister's Office: (02) 6277 7420
  • DFAT Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555