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Situated just one hour south of Queensland's capital of Brisbane, over the last fifty years Gold Coast has turned into the sixth largest and the fastest-growing city in the country. As a former small surfing and holiday destination, its tourism industry is still the essential part of the local economy with over 10 million visitors annually. The rapid growth attracted newcomers with jobs in the construction, retail, and technology industries. Other important areas of development include marine, education, environment and sports industries. The unemployment rate in this business-friendly metropolis is lower when compared to the rest of the country. Surfers Paradise and Southport form the commercial center (Central Business District) attracting new investors with many new business opportunities.
Several major companies located their headquarters in the city. The top four among them are G8 Education, Mantra Group, Jupiter's Hotel & Casino and Retail Food Group. The Gold Coast hosts many sporting (car racing, golf and tennis tournaments), musical (opera, festivals, concerts) and business events. The main venue for exhibitions, trade shows and fairs such as the World Travel and Cruise Expo or the Centre of Christmas Show, is the Convention and Exhibition Centre (GCCEC). As a business hub, the city has a large number of excellent facilities for company meetings, conferences and conventions.
Subtropical climate and over 70 km of fine beaches with excellent surf breaks (South Stradbroke Island, Main Beach or Mermaid Beach) make Gold Coast a prime spot for water sport lovers. The city is also known as the theme park capital of Australia for its many amusement parks and entertainment venues. Popular for day trips and hiking is the Great Dividing Range - the rainforest hinterland with volcanic craters and a home to various endangered species. It is a part of the World Heritage listed Lamington National Park.
The city of Gold Coast will host the upcoming Commonwealth Games in 2018.
GOLD COAST AIRPORT
Located in Coolangatta and IATA-coded as OOL, it connects the city and the rest of Australia with frequent direct domestic connections as well as services to New Zealand, Singapore, Japan and Malaysia. Air New Zealand, Jetstar, Quantas and Virgin Australia are among the airlines that land at the Gold City Airport.