MISSED OUT: Cr Warren Polglase more hasn't been done to encourage Games tourists to visit.
MISSED OUT: Cr Warren Polglase more hasn't been done to encourage Games tourists to visit. Scott Powick

Tweed not ready for Commonwealth Games

IN LESS than two weeks, more than 672,000 visitors will descend on the Gold Coast ahead of the Commonwealth Games.

While the Gold Coast is pulling out all the stops, you wouldn't know the biggest sporting event since the Sydney Olympics was about to happen if you were standing south of the border.

Tweed Chamber of Commerce president and councillor Warren Polglase said he was disappointed the shire hadn't put more effort into encouraging tourists attending the Games to visit the Tweed.

"It's a disgrace that there's nothing happening in the Tweed Shire,” Cr Polglase said.

"I can remember when we had the (Goodwill) Games in Brisbane, we had two hockey teams from Pakistan and one from India training in Murwillumbah.”

Cr Polglase said the Chamber had asked Tweed Shire Council to do some extra maintenance at the border entry points at the Gold Coast Airport, but he's had no response.

"We wanted them to do some maintenance of the garden beds, trim it and spray it to make it look better,” he said.

"It's one of those things that I think we're just too slow on the mark as a council. We're too late, we've missed the boat.”

But a Tweed Shire Council spokesperson said the fact the Commonwealth Games is a Queensland event had limited council's ability to capitalise on the tourism influx.

"There have been limited opportunities for involvement south of the border apart from council and business involvement in traffic planning,” the spokesperson said.

"Council has also collaborated with the Commonwealth Games organisers, government agencies and homelessness services and other networks to minimise disruption for people experiencing homelessness in the Coolangatta-Tweed Heads area.

"There will no doubt be benefits for the Tweed in increased casual visitation, strong accommodation bookings and boosted business takings during the event.”

Destination Tweed CEO Rose Wright said the normal tourism channels, including information desks at the airport, would still be promoting the region but all the attention would be on the Gold Coast.

"It's a very focused audience, they're there because they're coming for the Games,” Ms Wright said.

"There's a limit to what we can do. The Gold Coast are our partners, we don't want to be involved in ambush marketing. We'll use our normal channels.

"But the transport links aren't fantastic (in Tweed) and we're trying to not encourage too much extra traffic.”

Ms Wright said tourism operators would ensure those Games tourists who do visit the Tweed are encouraged to return to the shire in the future.



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