The first half of the year has been busy for tourism operators as we continue to see steady increases in domestic and international visitors. Our regional tourism organisation, Visit Sunshine Coast (VSC) continues to promote the entire Sunshine Coast region through a variety of activities. This often involves shining the spotlight on a particular event, destination or area of interest for our visitors, such as nature or food.
In marketing ourselves as a food tourism destination, VSC in partnership with Sunshine Coast Council and Food and Agribusiness Network, was on show to more than 90,000 people during the annual Regional Flavours event at Brisbane’s South Bank last weekend.
I was personally handing out Sunshine Coast strawberries to visitors and the response to our Flavours of the Sunshine Coast regional presence, with 10 local food and beverage companies, was outstanding. Our local celebrity chef Peter Wolfe was a huge success as he created Sunshine Coast dishes for the Taste of Queensland stage.
As locals, I think we understand how lucky we are to have incredibly fresh produce and seafood in our own backyard and we also know from Tourism Australia’s research how highly it rates for people to visit a region for the quality of the food.
To highlight trawler-to-plate as a key feature, we have partnered with Mooloolaba Business and Tourism to create new images and a television advertisement to air from this weekend in the surrounding drive market. As an extension of our Come to Life campaign style, it also includes family fun on Mooloolaba Beach, swimming with humpback whales, Sea Life’s seals and Mooloolaba Triathlon as a major event.
With a move towards more digital promotion, we still recognise television as a powerful way to reach people. In addition to television commercials, we have hosted national breakfast programs Today and Sunrise this year, with broadcasts beamed across the country from Caloundra, Cotton Tree, Coolum, Eumundi and Palmwoods.
Our New Zealand campaign, Sunshine by Lunchtime, run in conjunction with Air New Zealand and Tourism and Events Queensland over the past months, has assisted to ensure the direct flights are bringing across an influx of Kiwi visitors.
Taking advantage of the direct service, our Business Events Sunshine Coast (BESC) team has this week welcomed a group of top New Zealand event planners to the region who have toured the region looking at venue offerings to increase future business.
The coming months do not look like slowing down with the events and conferences BESC has won for the region, including the Australian Society of Travel Writers AGM (August), the Australian Events Awards (September) and the Australian Cruise Association Annual Conference and AGM (September).