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Update from Visit Sunshine Coast                                                     View this email in your browser

Message from Visit Sunshine Coast CEO Matt Stoeckel
 

Travelling around the region for the last month I was really encouraged to hear that most of our operators enjoyed a strong summer holiday period. What also stood out to me is the industry’s dedication and implementation of COVID-19 safe-practices. This is vital to ensuring we remain a safe destination to visit in the eyes of travellers, and enables us to fully capitalise on the domestic market.

On that note I’m sure you found the recent announcement from the State Government that Greater Sydney can once again travel to Queensland extremely encouraging. Its particularly timely given we are now exiting the summer holiday period where our interstate markets, such as Greater Sydney, are crucial for demand. Our marketing team has been quick to jump on the opportunity of borders reopening, extending our current For real campaign into the Greater Sydney market as well as rolling out a number of tactical campaigns to drive visitation when we need it most; during our shoulder period in the lead-up to Easter. Thanks to everyone who is participating in these campaigns, and there are more details about them below for those that are interested.

To align with the campaigns in market, the Sunshine Coast will feature in some major publicity activities in print, online and broadcast media over the coming months as well. See below some great examples of this, including a dedicated Sunshine Coast episode of 7 Weekender.

We have our first networking event of 2021 coming up, and I’m looking forward to meeting you all then.


Matt Stoeckel
Visit Sunshine Coast CEO
MARKETING UPDATE

February marketing blitz! Sunshine Coast stars in national campaigns

 
As we head out of the summer holiday period and welcome back Greater Sydney to the Sunshine Coast, VSC has ramped up our campaign activity in market to encourage visitors to the region during our shoulder season. As well as our Real Time campaign - which on Monday was extended to target Greater Sydney - VSC has two tactical campaigns in market with Expedia and Ignite.

Expedia campaign
VSC has launched a new national campaign with travel partner Expedia Media Solutions under the Wotif booking site to secure new bookings to the Sunshine Coast. The campaign focus of ‘Sunshine Coast Real Deals’ is spearheaded by special accommodation deals and supported by inspirational reasons to visit the region. The aim of the campaign is to increase visitors, room nights and travel to the region during the shoulder period, learn more here. Get involved: Is your business listed with Expedia? To learn more about how you can get involved, email trade@visitsunshinecoast.com.

Ignite campaign
VSC has partnered with Tourism Noosa to launch a highly targeted campaign through Ignite Travel Group. The campaign - Beautiful Sunshine Coast, Breathtaking Noosa - launched yesterday and aims to encourage bookings from our key interstate markets of Greater Sydney and Melbourne to the Sunshine Coast from February through to August 2021, targeting off-peak periods. The campaign will promote high-value accommodation and attraction packages, averaging a stay of five-nights to boost visitor spend in the region. The multi-channel campaign will roll out across major news mastheads such as the Sydney Morning Herald and The Herald Sun, targeted electronic newsletters and social media.  View the campaign landing page here.

For real
Since its launch in mid-October, the For real campaign has reached more than 1 million travellers on social media, driving more than 87,000 people to our dedicated Sunshine Coast For real landing page. The third round of ‘Real Time’ campaign creative is currently being rolled out on social media within Greater Sydney, our drive market, Tropical North Queensland and Melbourne.

Aviation Partnership takes off
 

VSC together with Sunshine Coast Airport and Tourism Noosa as part of our Aviation Partnership recently leveraged Jetstar’s 'Holiday Here Sale' with a targeted social media campaign targeting in Adelaide and Melbourne. The campaign encouraged visitors to book a direct Jetstar service to Sunshine Coast Airport, and reached more than 430,000 consumers across both markets. The Aviation Partnership also rolled out social media campaigns in Cairns, Canberra and Newcastle to support the direct Alliance Airlines and Fly Pelican services. The Cairns campaign reached more than 94,000 travellers, Canberra more than 131,000 and Newcastle more than 214,000 travellers. Each campaign leveraged offers from the Airlines direct to Sunshine Coast Airport.
Member opportunity: Advertising spaces in the 2021 Sunshine Coast Holiday Planner have now sold out. Moving forward, there will be plenty more opportunities for members to get involved with VSC’s marketing activities. If you are interested in getting involved with our co-operative marketing plan, please register your interest here.

Join us for the first Networking Event of 2021!


VSC would like to officially invite you to our first networking event of 2021! Join us at Your Mates Brewing Co on Wednesday, 17 February from 5:30pm for a night of good food and great beer. The night is also an opportunity to meet our new CEO, Matt Stoeckel, who joined VSC in January.

The night includes a free drink on arrival and canapes served throughout the evening. Tickets cost $20 for members or $30 (plus GST) for non-members.

GET YOUR TICKETS HERE

Tourism news in brief...


New VSC members
VSC would like to welcome our new members: Beachcomber on the Spit, Tourism Headquarters, The Islander Noosa Resort, Reflected Image PRoductions, True North MediaScandi at Maleny, Legion Telecom P/LNext Level - High Ropes Adventure ParkBould Move, Empire Art PhotographyAnnie Barrett NaturopathCoastal HampersParrots in ParadiseWhite House International, Immersive Events Sunshine CoastBuskers by the Lake + Airwaves Festival and Pedal Paradise


Latest Visitor Statistics
The Sunshine Coast was successful in developing its intrastate market in response to mitigating the extent of the disruption caused by COVID-19, according to the latest National Visitor Survey (NVS), released by Tourism Research Australia for the September 2020 quarter. While overall visitor numbers were down, intrastate visitors were up 39.7% for the three months. View the figures here.

 
New volunteers welcomed
VSC would like to welcome a number of new Ambassadors to our volunteer teams at Montville and Glass House Mountains Visitor Information Centres. In coming weeks, the volunteer team will have the opportunity to expand their knowledge of the region with a number of famil visits to local attractions including Pots of Joy, White Ridge Farm and Parrots of Paradise. The pop-up VIC at Mooloolaba finished for the season on Australia Day after a successful summer holiday period.  

Business Events update
Business Events Sunshine Coast is focused on kick-starting COVID-safe events and incentive travel on the Sunshine Coast, having recently launched an inspiring new website and magazine. The e-magazine, named The Shortlist, aims to keep domestic and international industry up-to-date with what’s happening on the Sunshine Coast, view the first edition here, with the second edition currently in the works to be launched in coming months.  

Crikey! It’s the Irwins returns
Season three of the award-winning series, Crikey! It’s The Irwins, featuring Terri, Bindi and Robert Irwin, and Bindi’s husband Chandler Powell, launches in Australia on Animal Planet, Saturday 20 February at 6:30pm.

Tourism Australia takeover week
Tourism Australia’s Travel Takeover Week aims to kickstart domestic travel for 2021. For the week of 31 January to 6 February Holiday Here This Year advertising and content will be integrated into media roadblocks/takeovers, TV program and event sponsorships, publisher created content and in-program editorial integration. Read more about the Holiday Here This Year campaign and register for an industry toolkit to learn how you can get involved.
MEDIA & PR UPDATE

In the news: 7 Weekender, Escape and national newspaper coverage


The Sunshine Coast continues to star on the small screen with the second half-hour episode of 7 Weekender for 2021 airing on Sunday, 25 January. The episode focused on Sunshine Coast Romance and covered everything from wedding venues to date ideas. This was complemented by a two-minute segment with Subaru Great Australian Detours hosted by presenter Andrew Daddo on the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. The segment went to air on Channel 7 and generated more than $280,000 worth of media value for the Sunshine Coast. Stay tuned: this month The Great Australian Doorstep travel TV show will air three episodes about the Sunshine Coast supported and coordinated by VSC.

In print, The Canberra Times has published a further two stories on the Sunshine Coast following a VSC hosted media famil with journalist Michael Turtle. Both stories were syndicated across the Australian Community Media network in more than 100 different publications. View the stories here and here.

In other news, QWeekend published a two-page spread following a VSC supported media visit with journalist Leisa Scott on dog-friendly holidays in Caloundra, The Weekend Australian published a story on the Mary Valley and Escape highlighted the Mary Valley Rattler following VSC arranged media visits.

Media targeted at annual event


Top travel media from Brisbane were updated on the Sunshine Coast’s latest offerings at VSC’s annual media event last Friday. The luncheon was held at Indigenous owned and operated venue Birrunga Gallery & Dining, tying in with the Year of Indigenous Tourism in Queensland. Media were briefed on the top 35 new events, accommodation updates, attractions, tours and dining options on the Sunshine Coast. The event is a great way to not only showcase what the Sunshine Coast has to offer, but further builds relationships with important media outlets, and concluded with two media winning famil visits to the Sunshine Coast.
Member opportunity: VSC is putting together a Valentine’s Day media release. If you’re hosting an event, offering a special deal or have a romantic product to feature, please email Lauren Grounsell lauren.grounsell@visitsunshinecoast.com with a 100 word recap and hi res photo (at least 1 meg in size) to be considered for inclusion.

Border Updates: NSW + WA
 

Queensland has reopened to all of New South Wales – including Greater Sydney - as of 1am Monday, 1 February. 

Perth and some surrounding areas have been declared a hotspot by the Queensland Government. Anyone who has been in Metropolitan Perth, Peel or the South West regions of WA who arrived in Queensland from Sunday 31 January will be required to go into 14 days mandatory hotel quarantine. Queensland tourism businesses are encouraged to display this poster in their business to notify guests of the public health requirements relating to the new Western Australia hotspots.

Opportunities for tourism businesses


Free one-on-one coaching
The Queensland Tourism Industry Council is offering free one-on-one online coaching tailored to individual businesses to provide ongoing support and resources. Businesses can register to receive up to four free 60-minute coaching sessions to help redevelop business plans, identify new revenue opportunities, develop new packaged itineraries, work with new trade partners and more. More information.

Free digital workshops
The Queensland Business Revival Program offers businesses up to $2,000 worth of free digital upskilling workshops designed to help tourism businesses impacted by COVID-19 grow their businesses and enhance their digital presence. The course includes free daily coaching sessions with small business digital experts.  


Domestic Travel Trade Webinars
Destination Webinars are offering suppliers the opportunity to participate in online training to Australian domestic travel agents in 2021. With a variety of different participation packages available, trade ready operators can request to join mini webinars, add a pre-recorded webinar to the Destination Webinar library, or present during a live 25 minute webinar. More here.  


Financial support for regional tourism businesses
Financial support is available for regional tourism businesses to adapt and sustain operations following the impacts of COVID-19, as well as an opportunity for financial support for infrastructure projects that will provide economic and social benefits to regional and remote areas.

Financial support for events
Event funding is available for destination events being held from September 2021 – September 2022, as well as Indigenous festivals and events being held throughout 2021’s Year of Indigenous Tourism. The funds can be used to boost marketing or other components of the event.
What's on! Leisure events
6-7 February
Beach 5s Rugby Festival Mooloolaba
Mooloolaba Beach
 
7 February
Caloundra Triathlon
Caloundra
21 February
Noosa Summer Swim Festival
Noosa
 
28 February
Sunshine Coast Asian Food Festival
Spicers Tamarind Retreat
14 February
Valentines Day at Australia Zoo
Australia Zoo
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