Queensland will host one of the world’s largest surf conferences next year, with the sixth Biannual Global Wave Conference being held on the Gold Coast from 10-15 February, 2020.
The Gold Coast World Surfing Reserve won the rights to host the event, bringing the conference to Australia for the very first time.
Minister for Sport Mick de Brenni congratulated Andrew McKinnon, Chairman Gold Coast World Surfing Reserve on securing its place as host for this fantastic event.
“More tourism for the Gold Coast means more jobs for the Gold Coast. The Queensland Government strongly supports the surfing community and is proud to have provided $10,000 investment to support the 2020 Global Wave Conference that will also host a range of fun and healthy activities,” said Mr de Brenni.
“Residents of Coolangatta and those who we expect to travel from far and wide for this event can take part in ‘get fit’ classes, beach walks, surfing and stand-up paddle boarding sessions, yoga, pilates and qigong in the park.
“There will also be a Saturday sports event involving representatives from surf lifesaving and board riding clubs, indigenous and adaptive surfers and emergency services groups.
“This adds to a full program which already includes the three-day conference and a range of extra events including a surfing expo, workshops, photo and painting exhibition, movie and music festivals.
“Coolangatta is a fitting location for the Global Wave Conference as the Gold Coast is home to the eighth World Surfing Reserve – a majestic stretch of ocean from Snapper Rocks to Burleigh.
“Surfing is thriving on the Gold Coast with the proliferation of club and free surfers and the surf industry which has grown around them.
“Queensland surfers will also play a significant role at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, both as athletes and coaches, where surfing will debut as an Olympic sport.”
Andrew McKinnon said the event will shine a light on the growing threats to waves and surfing habitats across the globe.
“We will look at ways to make our coastal environments more sustainable,” said Mr McKinnon.
“We want to hear from our leaders in the surfing and ocean conservation community about how we can better protect our waves, oceans, beaches, marine ecosystems and the sport of surfing.
“We will talk about the recycling of surfing products, removal of plastics and ways of making our oceans safer, healthier and cleaner for future generations.
“We expect more than 400 delegates to attend including environmental and social scientists, world surfing legends, conservationists and representatives from the surfing industry.”
Minister for Tourism Industry Development Kate Jones said the five-day event would generate more than $1.2 million for the local economy.
“We have everything industry delegates could want – pristine beaches, sparkling oceans and spectacular surf,” said Ms Jones.
“We need to take every opportunity to protect our greatest tourism assets and promote them on the world stage and the Global Wave Conference gives us a chance to do just that.”
The sport and fitness activities associated with the conference support the aims of the upcoming Queensland Sport and Active Recreation Strategy 2019-2029, to help Queenslanders become more healthy, active and connected to their community.