New tourism model announced for Sunshine Coast region
  • Thursday 18 March 2010

Efforts to secure the future of the Sunshine Coast’s biggest economic driver have taken a significant step forward, with council formally endorsing a blueprint for reform.

The changes aim to ensure greater cooperation and collaboration between destinations throughout the region, with the creation of a new, unified body to promote the Sunshine Coast in the highly competitive tourism market.

Work on a new structure to support the local industry has been underway since March 2009, after council and Coast tourism leaders agreed on a broad framework for reform.

Recommendations for the restructure were today presented to council by the Tourism Transition Advisory Board (TTAB) and given the green light to proceed.

Council has agreed to:

  • form a new destination management organisation (DMO) which will operate from July 1 and replace Tourism Sunshine Coast. The DMO will be charged with the promotion of the Sunshine Coast’s tourism industry as a whole - primarily in a strategic, marketing, industry development and research capacity
  • create four new destination desks representing the Hinterland region (including Landsborough, Glass House Mountains, Palmwoods, Nambour) Southern region (including Caloundra) Central region (including Marcoola, Maroochydore, Mooloolaba) and Northern region (including Noosa, Coolum, Eumundi) which will report to the DMO. The former Caloundra Tourism and discover organisations will disband. Tourism Noosa will continue to represent the Northern region
  • consider a new, whole of region tourism levy to replace existing tourism levies across the Sunshine Coast
  • appoint a chief pperating officer and a seven-person board to guide the new DMO
  • develop a single membership model for the region
  • consider establishing a major events governance structure that will oversee events of economic significance.

In announcing the news, TTAB Chairman Michael Arnett said the board’s job had at times been challenging, but the new structure had widespread support throughout the industry.

"We believe that this new, industry-sanctioned structure will deliver great benefits for Sunshine Coast tourism, deliver significant economies of scale, eliminate duplication and ultimately build a stronger Sunshine Coast brand," Mr Arnett said.

"The new structure also recognises and celebrates the region’s diversity by acknowledging the importance of individual destinations and will market them as part of the greater Sunshine Coast brand."

Sunshine Coast Mayor Bob Abbot thanked industry members for their contribution to the process and said the proposed reforms would benefit both the tourism sector and the wider Sunshine Coast community.

"The aim is to give the industry control of its own destiny and these reforms will deliver a truly regional approach to tourism because that’s what the industry said it wanted," Cr Abbot said.

"Thanks to industry members and the transition board we will have a more strategic approach which will deliver a bigger slice of the tourism pie for the Sunshine Coast and ultimately, a stronger, more resilient local economy."

Additional information including the Tourism Transition Advisory Board’s Transition Action Plan is available on council’s website under Tourism listed in the Quick Links on the left hand side of the home page at