The parent company of top Gold Coast tourist attraction Dreamworld has confirmed that it is to receive a $70-million three-year loan from the Queensland government.
This is to enable Dreamworld and its sister attraction, White Water World, to keep operational as, like most of the tourism industry, they struggle with the enormous financial losses resulting from the pandemic and lockdown.
Aim is to fully reopen in September
The parent company, Ardent Leisure, notified the Australian Securities Exchange of the agreement with the state government on Friday.
Both parks have been closed for months and the plan now is to fully reopen them in the September school holidays. In the interim, it is hoped that at least some attractions will reopen prior to that.
Ardent also operates the SkyPoint Observation Deck and Climb in Surfer’s Paradise. This attraction has already reopened to the public.
Loans recognise role of theme parks
“We appreciate the Queensland Government’s strong recognition of the important role that the theme park industry plays in the economic development of Queensland and the broader tourism industry in Australia,” Ardent CEO John Osborne said.
“The Queensland Government’s foresight in providing this financial assistance package will enable Ardent to reopen its iconic theme parks, continue to employ hundreds of people and continue to invest in future tourism infrastructure and create more local jobs.”
“We are very excited about welcoming back our valued team members and loyal guests and have already commenced preparations for the reopening of our parks, including the implementation of our Queensland Health-approved COVID-Safe Plan,” he added.
Financial aid for other attractions too
The state government has confirmed that it is also giving loans to other tourist attractions on the Gold Coast that require aid.
“This support applies to both Dreamworld and the operators of the other Gold Coast theme parks,” Queensland Deputy Premier, Steven Miles, said.
“It’s designed to ensure that they can continue to employ people so that they can stay open and keep attracting Queenslanders to the Gold Coast for their holidays.”