- Friday 15 January 2010
With members of the Sunshine Coast tourism industry rejoicing after a successful peak holiday season, 2010 will see additional benefits for tourism when a new, unified regional tourism body for the region is formed.
July 2010 is the deadline that the Sunshine Coast Council elected Tourism Transition Advisory Board (TTAB) is working toward for the formation and operation of the new body.
The new organisation’s primary responsibilities will be in a strategic, marketing and policy capacity, whilst still recognising and protecting the Sunshine Coast’s individual destinations and brands.
In late 2009, the TTAB presented their draft Tourism Transition Plan* to industry by way of a series of presentations and meetings and were overwhelmed by the level of industry response.
Chair of TTAB, Michael Arnett said that although the board’s intention was to be ready to present their recommendations for the structure of the new tourism organisation to Council by the end of 2009, they had extended the deadline to allow more time to follow up, analyse and assess the feedback from industry members.
The TTAB will now present an interim report to councilors at a strategic discussion forum on January 25.
“As tourism is the Sunshine Coast’s number one economic contributor it is essential that we consider the views of all industry stakeholders in order to do our job properly and deliver the best possible tourism outcomes for the region,” Mr Arnett said.
“The reason that the industry generates $2.4 billion per annum** on the Sunshine Coast is that we have a vast number of professional and passionate tourism stakeholders who are prepared to share their experiences with us as well as their vision for the future of Sunshine Coast tourism.
“The TTAB wishes to thank all participants for their valuable contributions to our draft Tourism Transition Plan which will now be used to prepare our final Plan for presentation to Council for their consideration in early 2010.”
The Sunshine Coast Regional Council and local tourism leaders reached an in-principle agreement in March 2009 to support the creation of a new, regional tourism body designed to guide the future of tourism on the Sunshine Coast. Since then the partnership has been working in collaboration with TTAB to assist in developing the structure.
Council’s Executive Director of Finance and Business, Greg Laverty said the TTAB would pave the way for the Sunshine Coast tourism industry to take control of its own destiny.
“The TTAB will play a critical role in determining the future of the region’s largest economic contributor,” Mr Laverty said.
Industry Chairpersons all agreed that tourism reform was needed on the Coast in order to secure its future and keep the regional and local tourism industry segments ahead of a very competitive marketplace.
The partnership will continue to consult with TTAB to ensure the best possible structure for tourism on the Coast is achieved.
The Sunshine Coast Regional Council and Tourism Queensland have financially supported tourism reform on the Coast.
*Tourism Transition Plan: a plan that ensure a seamless transition from the current, destination specific industry structure to the new, unified regional body by July 1 2010.
**Tourism on the Sunshine Coast generates a total of $2.4 billion per annum, a figure larger than the total value of tourism in Tasmania ($2.1billion) and the total value of the Northern Territory tourism industry ($1.8 billion). Source: EMDA Report 2009.