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Gold Coast open for business: leaders

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 25/10/2016 Scott Bailey

Political leaders are doing their best to convince wary tourists the Gold Coast is safe and open for business, despite Dreamworld's deadly raft ride accident.

Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and federal Tourism Minister Steve Ciobo all backed the city in the aftermath of the tragedy.

Mr Tate admitted there were major concerns some families and tourists would turn their backs on the holiday strip following the deaths of four people on Tuesday.

"Tourism is one of our key economic drivers and we rightly pride ourselves in the product and service we offer," he told AAP.

"We need people to know that their time on the Gold Coast, at any of our many attractions, is as safe as it possibly can be."

Combined, the Gold Coast's four theme parts attract about 1.8 million visitors annually, and had never suffered a fatality until Tuesday's catastrophic malfunction on Dreamworld's River Rapids ride.

While Dreamworld remains closed indefinitely, rival theme parks Sea World, Movie World and Wet 'n' Wild were open on Wednesday.

"Those parks operate under stringent safety protocols," Mr Tate said.

"I can understand that they want to ensure their valued clients experience everything that is fantastic about our city."

Mr Tate's comments came after Gold Coast-based Mr Ciobo passed on his sympathies to all involved.

"The Gold Coast has long been a destination for families and thrill-seekers - we are, after all, 'famous for fun'," he said.

"The heartbreak of this incident will be felt for a long time, and it's important now we come together as a city and support those in need."

Ms Palaszczuk also urged families not to cancel holiday plans.

"Please continue to show your support to the Gold Coast and to Queensland," she told the Nine Network.

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