Update from Visit Sunshine Coast                                                     View this email in your browser

Message from Visit Sunshine Coast CEO Matt Stoeckel

Firstly I would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year, as what a year it was. For me 2021 is a new beginning and I am thrilled to have joined Visit Sunshine Coast (VSC) last week.   

After almost five years living in Fiji I can now proudly call myself a Queenslander and have quickly embraced the warm welcoming nature of the Sunshine Coast. I can already see that this is a cornerstone of why people love to holiday here and what keeps them coming back.

What also stands out to me is the huge potential of the destination. With the newly upgraded airport, plans for new hotels and attractions, and its well-earned reputation for authentic nature-based experiences there are massive opportunities for the Sunshine Coast to be a pace-setter in Australian tourism.

Whilst there is still so much uncertainty on what lies ahead for 2021, one thing for sure is that our immediate focus will remain on navigating our way through COVID-19. As we have seen this week the landscape around it remains uncertain, and as an industry we continue to need to be flexible and adapt to these changes that are all beyond our control.

With that in mind the launch of our new brand – For real – could not have come at a better time, as it differentiates our region and also highlights our natural attractions. Importantly we know from research that this is increasingly what travellers are seeking. Therefore, a focus for this year will be on continuing to activate this new brand through showcasing our incredible depth and breadth of experiences and our stunning natural landscapes that are so highly sought after by our target markets.

What is also apparent to me is that there has never been a more important time to work together to manage through this time of uncertainty. Above all I look forward to working closely with our members, tourism associations, as well as our Council, State and Federal partners, to ensure that we can maximise the benefits of the tourism industry for the Sunshine Coast community.

Matt Stoeckel
CEO Visit Sunshine Coast

COVID-19 Update

Following the end of the Greater Brisbane lockdown on Monday, 11 January the Queensland Government announced some restrictions will remain, including wearing a mask. These restrictions continue to apply to people who have been in the Greater Brisbane region since 2 January 2021, no matter where they may have travelled to since.

This fact sheet with advice for tourism operators has been issued by the Queensland Government. There is also an updated poster that businesses may choose to display to remind their guests of the restrictions.

View further information on the updated restrictions for Greater Brisbane and people who have been in the Greater Brisbane hotspot since January 2 here.

For real launches in NZ

New Zealand has traditionally been the Sunshine Coast’s strongest international market, and to ensure our region remains front of mind for Kiwi travellers when restrictions ease across the ditch, VSC has launched the For real campaign in New Zealand. The social media campaign has been adapted to suit the Kiwi market and will roll out across three weeks on Facebook and Instagram, highlighting Sunshine Coast destinations and attractions through 20 ‘Real Time’ videos. The campaign will drive to a dedicated Sunshine Coast For Real landing page, more here.

Marketing Update

In the lead-up to Christmas VSC ran the '12 Days of Sunshine’ social media campaign in our drive market, encouraging holiday-makers to visit our attractions, experiences and restaurants during the Christmas holiday period. The campaign reached more than 270,000 people, with more than 12,300 entries to the competition and 9,000 new subscribers signing-up to VSC’s targeted consumer newsletter. VSC currently has a campaign in market with Experience Oz, encouraging visitors in region to book a Sunshine Coast tour or attraction.
Since its launch the For real campaign has reached more than 1 million people on social media, with 5.81 million social impressions and more than 74,000 landing page views on the dedicated Sunshine Coast For Real landing page.

Tourism news and FREE training opportunities

  • Sunshine Coast Airport welcomed a new carrier, Fly Pelican, last week who is offering a seasonal direct service from Newcastle three times a week until the end of March.
  • VSC, in partnership with Sunshine Coast Council, has set up the Mobile Visitor Information Centre “Mobi VIC” for a summer community activation out the front of the new Brisbane Road Carpark in Mooloolaba. The Mobi VIC – staffed by VSC Volunteers - will operate over summer providing visitor information to the influx of holiday makers.
  • VSC would like to welcome the new owners of Caloundra Jet Ski Hire & Safaris Jac and Elle van Niekerk and thank outgoing owner Ken Jeffreys for all his support.
  • COVID Safe requirements on marine tourism vessels have been relaxed to enable operators to accommodate more passengers onboard to improve business viability while meeting health obligations, more here.
  • Tourism and hospitality businesses are encouraged to register their expressions of interest for Queensland Tourism Industry Council’s (QTIC) Micro-Credentialling program. Modules include topics such as: customer service, intro to hospitality management and profit and loss for hospitality, which are delivered in short video tutorials followed by an online quiz.

Sunshine Coast stars on TV

The Sunshine Coast kicked off 2020 with a bang, with a dedicated half-hour episode of 7 Weekender going to air on 3 January. The episode was a repeat of the Sunshine Coast ‘For real’ episode funded and coordinated by VSC. The episode highlights the Glass House Mountains, Yandina, Eudlo and the Tewantin National Park, driving viewers to our dedicated Sunshine Coast For Real landing page. The re-run reached an audience on 196,000 and has a total PR value of more than $206,400  for the region. In addition, the Canberra Weekly ran a story following a joint famil with Tourism Noosa as part of our Aviation Partnership and The Canberra Times published the first of three articles following a media visit with journalist Michael Turtle.

Share your 2021 news with travel media!

Start off 2021 by sharing your news with top travel and hospitality media from across the country! VSC’s media team is currently putting together a list of ‘What’s New’ for the Sunshine Coast, covering everything from accommodation updates to new venue openings, packages, events and attractions. To be considered for inclusion, please email your news to in 100 words or less, along with a hi-res photo. Submissions due COB Wednesday, 20 January.
What's on! Leisure events
8-26 January
Ginger Flower & Plant Emporium
Ginger Factory
15 January
People, Plates & Places
24 January
Sunshine Coast Jazz & Brews Festival
Glass House Brewery
Cotton Tree
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