Coast tourism experiences 9.2% spike
  • Thursday 02 July 2015

Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson has welcomed new figures which show Sunshine Coast has recorded a 9.2% increase in overnight visitors, continuing its position as one of Queensland’s fastest growing tourism regions.

Mayor Jamieson said  the National Visitor Survey figures came on the back of last week’s results which showed the Sunshine Coast had attracted an increase of 15.7% in international visitors last year – the highest of any region in the State.

“Yes, we live in one of the most beautiful places on earth, and people from Australia and across the world are discovering just that, thanks to lots of hard work and marketing,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“Tourism and major events bring millions of dollars into our economy every year, benefiting businesses across the region and, in turn, our community.

“The Sunshine Coast is gaining a reputation for hosting successful events and we are attracting more than ever.

“Events such as The Mooloolaba Triathlon, Wanderlust, The Australian Surf Live Saving Championships, World Outrigger Sprint Titles, Queensland Garden Expo, Real Food Festival, Australian Motorcross Championships are just a few of the events to be held across the Sunshine Coast over the next 12 months.

“The $1.41 million Council will invest in major events sponsorship this fianncial year will generate $65.5 million in economic activity, building our economy and creating more jobs.

“The Sunshine Coast is independently ranked as the second highest performing economy in Queensland and our tourism and events sector has contributed towards that enviable result.”

Not only did visitor numbers to the Coast increase but expenditure increased by 12.2% delivering $1.9 billion in revenue for the local economy.

Sunshine Coast Destination Ltd (SCDL) CEO, Simon Ambrose, said the results would have benefited operators across the region – which encompasses Caloundra, Mooloolaba, Noosa, Gympie, Rainbow Beach, Sunshine Coast Hinterland and the Mary Valley.

Mr Ambrose said that the extensive marketing undertaken by SCDL and its partners during 2014 was continuing to pay dividends, and prospects for continued growth were encouraging with the recent delivery of the successful major domestic campaign delivered in partnership with Flight Centre.

“We are now rolling out an extensive marketing campaign aimed directly at the important drive market, which – with lower fuel prices and new product such as the Great Beach Drive – is likely to increase visitation further,” Mr Ambrose said.

"The domestic campaign is well timed, as it is being complemented by the rise of the popular ‘holidaying at home’ trend, which has resulted from the softer Australian dollar.

“The Sunshine Coast has placed a premium on its diversity over the past 12 months. People might come to the Sunshine Coast with the beaches top of mind, but they leave having experienced much more – providing plenty of reasons for them to return.

“We will be emphasising the region’s rich food culture over the next three months with the launch of a new interactive mobile food site and the staging of the Real Food Festival in September, and this will further highlight the region’s rich diversity.

“With a host of events and new activities, as well as planned visits by cruise ships, winter is no longer a quiet time on the Sunshine Coast, with strong results in the first week of school holidays supporting this trend.”

Mr Ambrose said that Sunshine Coast Destination had been hosting a variety of international and Australian industry and media organisations in recent months, including Channel Seven’s popular Travel Oz program, which was filming throughout the region this week.