Sunshine Coast, Australia’s ‘premier revitalising holiday destination’

Sunshine Coast Queensland - Naturally refreshing

New Destination Tourism Plan outlines strategies to grow tourism expenditure to $3.9 billion by 2020
Sunshine Coast Destination Ltd (SCDL) has launched its Destination Tourism Plan (DTP), outlining its direction and policies for growing tourism to meet the State Government’s target of increasing overnight visitor expenditure to $3.9 billion by 2020.
The development of the DTP followed extensive collaboration with Tourism and Events Queensland and key stakeholders from the local tourism industry.
It is estimated that the visitor economy currently generates $2.7 billion of direct expenditure into the destination, which in turn supports direct and indirect employment of over 35,000 people.
As part of the launch of the Destination Marketing Plan, SCDL announced its ‘vision’ that: “By 2020, the Sunshine Coast tourism region will be globally recognised as Australia’s premier revitalising holiday destination, where the blend of coastal and hinterland experiences showcase the region’s contemporary beach culture.”
CEO of SCDL, Simon Ambrose, said it was the region’s diverse range of attractions that gave it the edge on many other coastal destinations around Australia.
“The Sunshine Coast has rightfully been recognised for its outstanding beaches, but if we are to grow visitor numbers significantly it is vital that we show that the region has far more to attract and retain travellers than just our beaches,” he said.
“Visitor growth in in the last financial year to June 2014 was encouraging, with the latest National Visitor Survey figures recording a 4.6% increase compared to the previous year, but we will need to grow this even faster if we are to meet the Government’s ambitious target.”
Mr Ambrose said that a number of priorities had been identified in the DTP.
These included:
–                      A major boost to digital and niche marketing
–                      Extend lengths of stay and target mid-week stays
–                      Major growth in public and business events
–                      Emphasis on nature based and ‘immersive’ experiences
–                      Improved air and road access
“The Sunshine Coast can offer everything from an indulgent beach holiday to a secluded rainforest trek all within 45 minutes of landing at Sunshine Coast Airport,” said Mr Ambrose.
“We are growing our reputation as one of the country’s best food producers, with a rich collection of fine restaurants, high-quality cooking schools and artisan producers. We have a vibrant arts and entertainment scene, and our events programme is one of the most comprehensive in Australia.
“Our priority is to get these messages out. We have a new cutting-edge advertising campaign that has been developed to showcase the region, we have invested significantly in our digital presence, we are targeting both traditional and emerging markets, and we are working closely with our Sunshine Coast and Queensland partners to boost air, road and rail access.
“Our identification of ‘revitalisation’ as a key theme for marketing the Sunshine Coast came after extensive research and builds on our existing ‘Naturally refreshing’ tagline. The ease of access to the destination by air – less than two hours from most of Australia’s major markets and only three hours from New Zealand – means that couples, families and even conference groups can get to the Sunshine Coast and start enjoying the experience within a very short time frame.
“While we hope the fall in the Australian dollar will help our campaign, in the end the destination has to stand on its own merits, and we believe we have all the ingredients to build the destination’s tourism profile and its popularity.”
Minister for Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games Jann Stuckey said the Sunshine Coast DTP had identified key priorities and responsibilities for tourism stakeholders in the region through to 2020.
“The Destination Tourism Plan will be a vehicle used to capitalise on key opportunities in an effort to grow the region’s tourism industry and assists in aligning strategies, available resources, and the efforts of industry and all levels of government towards a unified long-term objective,” Ms Stuckey said.
“The Government’s 20-year plan for tourism, Destination Success, outlines the need for industry and government to work in partnership to support the growth of tourism in the state.
“Queensland’s diverse iconic experiences are the foundation of the state’s destinations, and in turn, the destinations will continue to be the foundation of Queensland’s tourism success.”
Mr Ambrose said that a major emphasis of the strategy would aim to grow the length of stay by identifying the range of attractions and experiences available on the Sunshine Coast. He said that events had been highly successful in attracting new and returning visitors, but there was still considerable scope to convert that interest into more extensive stays.
He said that the region would be announcing a wide range of new events in the lead up to the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the ‘Sunshine Coast’ in 2016.
For full details of the Destination Tourism Plan visit:
www.scdl.com.au/about-us/strategy-and-plans