Sydney: Australia was celebrating on Saturday as the Commonwealth Games Federation named Queensland's Gold Coast as the host of the 2018 Games, over Sri Lanka's Hambantota. (Agencies)
"See you in Gold Coast in 2018!!!" the federation said on Twitter, following a vote of its general assembly in the Caribbean nation of St Kitts and Nevis on Friday evening local time -- this morning in Australia.
Gold Coast, a sub-tropical tourist hotspot that is home to more than 500,000 people, promised to provide a stark contrast with last year's host, India's teeming capital New Delhi.
The 2010 Delhi Games proved troubled, with the sporting headlines stolen by venue delays, shoddy construction and budget overruns that saw the cost of the event triple to USD 6 billion.
Australia said hosting the Commonwealth Games for the fifth time, becoming the only nation to ever do so, would allow it to showcase its ability to host major international sporting events.
"This morning's victory was a fantastic result for the Gold Coast, Queensland and Australia," Deputy Prime Minister Wayne Swan and Sport Minister Mark Arbib said in a joint statement.
"It will provide a big boost to tourism and jobs on the Gold Coast, both in the lead up to the Games and during the event."
Australia has a long association with the Commonwealth Games, hosting the Games four times -- most recently in Melbourne in 2006.
The country's biggest city Sydney held the 2000 Olympics and the nation hosted the Rugby World Cup in 2003. The government said it would be looking forward to a home advantage and repeating its most successful Games performance in Melbourne, where Australian participants won a record 221 medals.
"The Games attract thousands of athletes from around the Commonwealth, as well as tens of thousands of fans and a global television audience of well over one billion people,"
Swan and Arbib said in the statement.
"So hosting the Commonwealth games will be a great opportunity to showcase to a huge global audience all that the Gold Coast has to offer."
The Games bring together athletes from 71 Commonwealth countries and the 2014 event is to be held in Glasgow in Scotland.
Australia has hosted four previous Commonwealth Games: in Sydney (1938), Perth (1962), Brisbane (1982) and Melbourne (2006).
Gold Coast, one of the fastest growing regions in Australia, experiences some 287 days of sunshine each year and boasts 70 kilometres of beaches.
Sydney: Australia was celebrating on Saturday as the Commonwealth Games Federation named Queensland's Gold Coast as the host of the 2018 Games, over Sri Lanka's Hambantota.