Queensland hospitality industry to benefit from Commonwealth Games

Date: Nov 24, 2011

The sunshine state has won the bid for a major sporting event in 2018 - giving the region's hospitality industry a reason to gear up for increased patronage in the coming years.

Queensland's premier Anna Bligh said the news that the state would host the 21st Commonwealth games was the result of "a lot of hard work".

Bligh said: "I am so proud of this team, I am so proud of the Gold Coast and I am so proud of being a Queenslander."

The games are projected to bring in a large volume of visitors to the Gold Coast region both before and during 2018 - with a sizable number remaining afterwards to take advantage of the opportunity to explore the tourist attraction in the region.

Speaking on the need to accommodate both domestic and international visitors, chair of the Gold Coast Tourism Committee Susie Douglas says that ongoing support was needed to make the most of this rare opportunity.

Douglas said: "In little more than six years, the Gold Coast will be on show to visitors, dignitaries and a media audience from more than 71 countries."

"We're a dynamic city and we should aspire to have world class cultural facilities to support international events like the 2018 Commonwealth Games."

Understandably this will give hospitality businesses in the area a great reason to begin investigating their staffing options - with the potential for increased patronage requiring a shift in the levels of service provided.

However the region is currently undergoing some serious economic shifts - due in no small part to the resource boom in the state's regional areas.

In turn this has produced an increased demand for workers in all sectors to move out of city centres to service the growing demands from mining facilities and the communities that accompany them.

For the hospitality and tourism sectors, this means that businesses may face a shortage in skilled and semi-skilled labour when they need it most.

To help remedy this situation, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) have released additional information on the 457 visa and how it relates to this particular industry.

The "Guide to the 457 program for the tourism and hospitality industries" acknowledges that this particular sponsorship arrangement is not suitable for a majority of typical hospitality positions - as they are not considered to be 'skilled' roles.

However, the DIAC-issued document does deliver a list of occupations that are eligible for this type of visa application.

With the assistance of an immigration lawyer, this publication could serve as a valuable tool to guide business owners throughout the sponsorship process.

Migration lawyers can also deliver additional services that will help to ensure that an application can be approved first time - saving hospitality managers from the trouble and expense of repeated submissions.