Update from Visit Sunshine Coast                                                     View this email in your browser

Welcome friends! Travellers touch down from Victoria, Greater Sydney

Visitors from Victoria and Sydney have once again touched down at Sunshine Coast Airport, following the border reopening with Victoria and Greater Sydney yesterday.

Prior to COVID-19, the Sunshine Coast attracted 526,000 visitors from New South Wales including 263,000 visitors from Sydney alone and 415,000 visitors from Victoria. The announcement that borders have reopened to our key interstate markets is the news our industry has been waiting for, and with the festive season about to start the timing is perfect for both our tourism businesses and visitors to enjoy the summer holidays with family and friends. These key interstate markets are incredibly important as they often visit mid-week, stay longer and spend more; and beyond the Christmas period, this will be crucial for boosting bookings during those off-peak times.

Visit Sunshine Coast (VSC) attended a media call at Sunshine Coast Airport on Tuesday morning to welcome back the Jetstar Melbourne service, and helped coordinate an airport activation to ensure returning travellers received a warm Sunshine Coast welcome! Marcoola Surf Life Savers and staff from VSC, Tourism Noosa and Sunshine Coast Airport met travellers with signs, cupcakes and bottles of Noosa water as part of the welcome back activation.

Festive campaign: On the 12th day of Christmas VSC gave to me…

A new VSC campaign is putting a twist on the traditional 12 Days of Christmas, offering travellers 12 days of Sunshine Coast giveaways! The campaign will be rolled out on social media ahead of the festive season in our drive market, and includes prizes such as dining vouchers and free passes to Sunshine Coast attractions. Phase one, launched this week, aims to tease travellers about the prizes up for grabs to build excitement, before the '12 Days of Sunshine' kicks off on 9 December. To go in the running to win travellers must sign up to VSC’s newsletter, expanding our consumer database. The campaign will include references to our current campaign For real, drive visitors to a dedicated 12 Days of Sunshine landing page and include content such as travel itineraries and access to Sunshine Coast Deals to help visitors plans their ultimate Sunshine Coast escape.

With borders reopened to Greater Sydney and Victoria, VSC will expand our For real campaign into these interstate markets, driving visitors to our dedicated Sunshine Coast For real landing page.

Sunshine Coast in the news!

VSC’s media team recently hosted two journalists from The Courier-Mail’s QWeekend magazine on media visits to the region, as well as a journalist from The Canberra Weekly on a joint famil with Tourism Noosa as part of our Aviation Partnership. Recent coverage includes a full-page feature in QWeekend on Gympie following a media visit, and coverage in Escape on Rick’s Garage following a VSC hosted famil with journalist Amanda Woods.

Attractions receive funding

Three Sunshine Coast tourism businesses are investing in fresh attractions with the assistance of the State Government’s $25 million Growing Tourism Infrastructure Fund. Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said Aussie World, Bellingham Maze and Tree Top Adventure Park would share in $1.84 million.  Aussie World will harness the thrill of speed with a new rollercoaster ride to complement the recently installed Swing Ride. Bellingham Maze is combining its a’maze’ing outdoor maze with an immersive, virtual reality maze experience. And, work is underway on a Junior adventure challenge for 3 to 9-year-olds at the Tree Top Adventure Park. More here.

VSC 2020 Member Survey

Feedback is important for VSC to continually improve both as an organisation and as part of the tourism community on the Sunshine Coast. This year we have faced unprecedented challenges, and as we continue forwards on the path towards recovery your feedback is more important than ever. We invite you to take a few minutes to complete our member satisfaction survey. This survey is anonymous, however if you would like VSC to identify your responses please enter your name and business in Q23. Thank you!

VSC & tourism news in brief

  • VSC member and luxury accommodation provider Montagues of Montville is under new ownership, welcome to Kate Black and Gary Lawrence!
  • The Queensland Government has announced from 1 December the number of people at outdoor gatherings has increased from 50 to 100. Gatherings at private residences, whether indoor or outdoor, are limited to 50 people.
  • This week The Events Centre Caloundra celebrated 40 years of providing the Sunshine Coast with entertainment, community and businesses events and gala dinners. Visit their website to see what's on.
  • Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC) recently held DestinationIQ to discuss and strategise opportunities for First Nations tourism in Queensland, view the event recordings here.
  • As more visitors return to Queensland, the tourism industry plays a vital role in the first-line COVID-19 response, and having COVID Safe plans in place and in action remains critical. Visit TEQ’s website for information on keeping your business COVID Safe.
  • TEQ’s Good to Go campaign is being rolled out across Victoria and Greater Sydney in line with borders opening, to learn more about the campaign and how you can get involved, visit their Industry Collateral landing page.

Promote your summer vacancies for free through ‘Jobs Now’ initiative 

The summer holiday period is one of the busiest times for tourism and hospitality businesses on the Sunshine Coast, with many local operators hiring more staff to meet demand. However, feedback from businesses suggests finding suitable employees to fill these positions can pose a challenge. To help our local industry prepare for the festive season, VSC has partnered with Sunshine Coast Council and local radio station Hot 91 to assist tourism and hospitality businesses fill vacancies as part of the ‘Jobs Now’ initiative. The initiative will invite local businesses to advertise their job vacancies for free, while job seekers will be informed of the benefits of gaining employment in the tourism and hospitality industry. Opportunities for job seekers and tourism and hospitality employees to upskill ahead of the summer period will also be provided. Industry are invited to submit their job vacancies for free promotion through Jobs Now here, or learn more about the additional support available for businesses here.

What's new on the Sunshine Coast!

Next Level high ropes course 

Australia’s highest ropes course – Next Level – has opened at Sunshine Plaza. The course is built above Cornmeal Creek and includes seven circuits across four levels of difficulty, including 145 aerial obstacles. The course has more than one kilometre of zip lines, the longest of which spans 135 metres. There’s also a 22-metre-high viewing platform offering impressive 360-degree views of the Sunshine Coast which can be accessed as a separate activity to the high ropes. Next Level tickets start from $25 for six to 17 years old, $35 for 18 years plus and $5 for the viewing platform.

Aquaduck at Mooloolaba

Iconic tourism operator Aquaduck is set to make it’s debut splash in Mooloolaba this December. The amphibious Aquaduck has been operating since 1996 and has now expanded operations to include the Sunshine Coast offering 1hr sightseeing tours exploring the Mooloolaba streets and the Mooloolah River. The tour takes visitors along the iconic and picturesque Mooloolaba Esplanade overlooking Mooloolaba Beach before splashing in for a cruise through the canals and waterways. Tickets cost $30 for children or $40 for adults.

Swim with sharks at SEA LIFE

After a three-year hiatus SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast’s exhilarating Shark Dive Xtreme experience is back, inviting thrill-seekers to swim with nine different shark species including three huge grey nurse sharks, reef sharks and wobbegong sharks. The two-hour adventure takes you behind the scenes for a safety briefing and dive training before you take the plunge. The daring adventure coincides with SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast’s Summer of Sharks campaign that celebrates sharks and the essential role they play in our ecosystem. The Shark Dive Xperience is available to guests aged 14+ and costs $290 per person.

Industry events & date claimers

  • TEQ will hold a free tourism data and insights webinar on 3 December at 10:30am, register here.
  • Tourism Australia (TA) will hold their final webinar of the year this Friday 4 December at 11am AEDT featuring guest speakers Jan Hutton, CEO of the Australian Tourism Data Warehouse and Janine Duffy, co-founder and operator of Echidna Walkabout, who will be talking about sustainability, and an overview of TA’s priorities going into 2021, register here.
  • TEQ will hold a Global Market Briefing with a special focus on Australia and New Zealand, as well as an update on the Queensland brand and consumer segments, on Friday 4 December at 11am.
  • DATE CLAIMER: Surf Life Saving’s premier event The Aussies will return to the Sunshine Coast in 2021 from 16-24 April! The event will be jointly hosted across Alexandra Headland, Maroochydore and Mooloolaba Clubs, attracting more than 7000 competitors and organisers to the region.

Don’t forget to sign up to ATDW and promote your business for FREE!

VSC in partnership with TEQ is excited to offer tourism businesses free membership for the Australian Tourism Data Warehouse (ATDW) for a 24 month period! What's in it for me?
  • ATDW provides your business with exposure, so you are visible when customers are making important travel decisions. Your information will be listed on key travel websites including and many more.
  • You only have to upload your business once into ATDW-Online, saving you time. Once uploaded your business information automatically flows through to the ATDW distributor websites for customers to see. You can update your information in ATDW-Online easily at any time. 
  • You’ll be able to access other benefits such as listing your Holiday Deals on for free, providing your business with additional exposure.
This offer is available to all our members who are not currently part of ATDW. Any existing members do not need to take any action. To take up the offer, operators simply need to visit and click Register Now in the top right corner. Full details here.

AIME 2021 Expression of Interest

Business Events Sunshine Coast (BESC) will exhibit in 2021 at the leading trade event in Australia for the meetings and business events industry. The Asia Pacific Incentives and Meetings Event (AIME) is the first opportunity for the industry to meet face-to-face since February 2020 and BESC is sourcing an expressions of interest (EOI) from members interested in exhibiting on their regional stand. AIME will be held in Melbourne from 15-17 March and virtually from 15-26 March. Find out more about AIME here or send your EOI to

Get disaster ready this summer

VSC recognises there are many issues – natural and man-made – which at any time could adversely impact the reputation of the region and have a devastating effect on local businesses and the local economy. With that in mind, we advise Sunshine Coast tourism businesses to prepare for natural disasters and other crises and are committed to supporting our industry in recovery. VSC has launched a dedicated Disaster Ready lading page with information on what to do before, during and post a disaster or crisis, view the page here.  

What's on! Leisure events

4-6 December
Noosa Eat & Drink Summer Celebration

5-14 December
Gymnastics Queensland Extravaganza
Caloundra Indoor Stadium

11-12 December
Ocean Alley at NightQuarter
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