SURFING is synonymous with the Gold Coast but the $3.3 billion industry has only recently begun to mature and develop a voice.
Just two months after the Gold Coast Surf Industry Task Force (GCSITF) was formed, the fledgling organisation has played a key role in securing the World Surf Cities Conference for the region in 2013.
It will be the second World Surf Cities conference after San Sebastian in Spain hosted the inaugural event last year.
The GCSITF plans to host the conference in February-March to coincide with the staging of the Quiksilver Pro surfing contest when the city is abuzz with all things surf.
Ian Eddie is a professor at Southern Cross University business school and is deputy chair of the GCSITF. He has been working with lecturer Jak Carrol on criteria to define a surf city.
The Gold Coast is one of just 10 surf cities worldwide. But there are more than 100 that could potentially join the list based on the 15-part criteria, says Eddie.
He says a surf city is an area where surfing, surf culture and employment in surf-related industries comprise a significant proportion of the economic, social and cultural base of the city.
“There must be a strong circle of activity that transcends being in the waves and surfing a board to include the services that provide amenity to that activity,” says Eddie.
The professor proposes three things that need to be at the core of any surf city: surf breaks; surf icons and surfers. Surfboard manufacturers, surf corporations, retailers, associations and schools circle this core.
The Gold Coast is riding high after being named a one of the world’s first ‘surf cities’. Read the entire story by getting your copy of the April issue of Gold Coast Business News - out soon at a newsagent near you.
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