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Update from Visit Sunshine Coast                                                     View this email in your browser
This month it's truly been an up and down time. In any other year, all our accommodation would have been close to full for the September school holidays. But currently, our forward bookings are far from that with occupancy down 20% compared to 2019. So, there is a lot of ground to make up, and little runway to do so.

As such we have been pulling out all stops to target our drive market with our ‘Immerse Yourself multichannel campaign to showcase the breadth and depth of experiences across the destination. Our focus has been on conversions with lots of tactical activities running along side it such as through the Tourism Events Queensland (TEQ) ‘Days Like This’ campaign including deals and packages featured in the Spring Guide.

With our major interstate markets still closed to us it’s all still about the drive market. However, one reason to be a little optimistic is welcoming the return of quarantine-free travel with South Australia. Serviced by Jetstar three times a week, the direct flight from Adelaide to Sunshine Coast provides more than 4,400 seats between the two destinations each month. To capitalise on this opportunity, we have launched a marketing campaign in Greater Adelaide in partnership with our pals at Sunshine Coast Airport and Tourism Noosa. Importantly for us, the South Australian school holidays are a week later than the Queensland holiday period and run through to 8 October allowing us to extend the school holiday peak.

Wishing everyone well for the September school holidays.

Matt Stoeckel
CEO

Don't miss out - marketing opportunities

Offer a holiday deal
There is still time to offer a compelling holiday deal for TEQ's '20 Days of Holidays Like This' campaign. Simply load a deal, package, discount or value-add through the Australian Tourism Data Warehouse (ATDW) and it will appear on Queensland.com. Learn how to load a deal.

Tours and attractions promotion - register now
TEQ will launch a new campaign which includes promo codes for Queenslanders to book tourism experiences. Tours and attractions are eligible and there is no charge to participate in this Queensland Incentive Program. The factsheet outlines how to get involved via four simple steps. This week, we encourage all eligible operators to register participation HERE. If you need any assistance, please contact us or visit the website for more details. 

VSC Presents Real Talks | 16 Sept - tickets remaining

VSC is hosting a breakfast with a panel of aviation, trade, and accommodation leaders from 7am to 9am tomorrow - 16 September. Come along and hear from keynote speakers on how their businesses are preparing for the future.

A limited number of tickets are available, please click here to book.

Team news

After three years, Maureen Brennan is leaving the organisation and relocating to Tasmania. Maureen has achieved a great deal at VSC, including strengthening partnerships with TEQ and Business Events Australia, as well as introducing a new website for incentive travel planners and The Shortlist magazine. 
But the best news is that Maureen, in a new capacity as a contractor, will continue to oversee the implementation of the business events strategy for VSC on a part-time basis until a new resource is appointed. In the meantime, Michelle Burgum will step in as the key point of contact for industry.

This week, 25 of our ambassadors enjoyed an afternoon at Rick’s Garage, including a tour of the Palmwoods establishment and their new bakery adjoining the garage. The bakery has been started to support their need for 500,000 buns per year!  It was the first for a few of the team and all are looking forward to returning.
Member Mail!

Looking to share your business news with members? From new product offerings to updated menus, upcoming events or good news stories, click here to share your updates!

Introducing Venu

The Ohana Group has unveiled Venu! Located in Coolum Beach’s industrial estate it is a private dining and creative space. Reserved exclusively for guests, the Chef’s Table and Mezzanine are perfect for a dining experience or function.

Stay Elite expands business

Stay Elite operating at Mooloolaba has now expanded and offering float, massage and wellness at The Sports Hub Kawana. Servicing local and national sporting teams; they offer massage, large steam room, magnesium float baths, steam infusion showers and more.

Wheelchair friendly digs

Newport Mooloolaba Holiday Apartments has added a second newly renovated specially built 3 bedroom wheelchair apartment.  It features accessible amenities including electric bed, mobile shower commode, and hoist to ensure a comfortable holiday.

Awards - be in it to win it!

2021 RACQ People’s Choice
As part of the Queensland Tourism Awards, voting is open in the People’s Choice Awards. This is your chance to support your fellow VSC members including: Australia Zoo, Original Eumundi Markets, Mary Valley Rattler, Maleny Botanic Gardens & Bird World, IRONMAN Oceania, Pelican Boat Hire, Coast to Hinterland Tours, Sunreef Mooloolaba, Narrows Escape Rainforest Retreat, Bli Bli House Luxury Accommodation, The Country House at Hunchy, RACV Noosa Resort, Saltwater Eco Tours, Tasty Tours Pty Ltd, NightQuarter / Malt Shovel Taphouse and The Ginger Factory. You can vote here by 1 October.

Wotif Uniquely Aussie Awards
Wotif.com has again launched their Uniquely Aussie Awards! You can submit your ideas under the following categories: Best National Park, Best Vanilla Slice, Best Hot Chips, Best Jaffle, Best Country Pub and Best Hotel Pool. Nominations are open until 24 September. Visit www.wotif.com/aussieawards

NRL Grand Final trophy comes to the Sunshine Coast!


One of the NRL’s biggest names – Cameron Smith – visited the Sunshine Coast last week to kick off the Provan-Summons NRL Premiership Trophy Tour of Queensland! The broadcast opportunity saw Cameron jet along the Pumicestone Passage with VSC member Caloundra Jet Skis, before welcoming the trophy onto Bulcock Beach with Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe. VSC supported TEQ with the broadcast, which went to air on Channel 9 ahead of Friday night’s finals match at Sunshine Coast Stadium between the Melbourne Storm and Manly Sea Eagles.

In the spotlight
We ran competitions with key travel trade publications The Travel Daily (Australia) and Tabs on Travel (New Zealand) and invited travel agents to share their best Big Pineapple stories and photos to commemorate the 50th birthday of the much-loved attraction. Stories ranged from the wild and wacky but all shared a love of the region!  Winners were treated to a Box of Sunshine featuring local Sunshine Coast goodies.
In brief
  • COVID-19 update: the 11 Local Government Areas in South East Queensland will continue following stage 3 restrictions until 4.00pm 24 September 2021. 
  • The DestinationQ Forum is free to attend and will be held at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre on Thursday 11 November. Register now

  • Single-use plastics such as straws, stirrers, cutlery, plates and unenclosed bowls, as well as single-use takeaway containers and cups made from expanded polystyrene are now banned in Queensland. Further information.
     
  • ATEC is launching a NEW ‘Domestic Ready’ program soon. To complete an expression of interest (EOI) click here.
     
  • TEQ has released a Nature-based Tourism Strategy 2021 – 2024 for tourism businesses to access.

Events


It was great to welcome back 1500 athletes and supporters to the region over the weekend for IRONMAN 70.3. The majority were intrastate competitors coming here to race, stay and play with the event estimated to inject $1.85 million into our visitor economy.  

If you are planning to host a destination or business event in Queensland in 2022 or 2023, you might be eligible for TEQ funding, with applications closing soon. Find out more and
apply now.
1 October
Oktoberfest Community Festival
NightQuarter – Birtinya
 
1-3 October
Caloundra Music Festival
Kings Beach
 

2 October
Mary Valley Rattler 3rd Birthday
Gympie
2 October
Caloundra Artist Market
Caloundra

 
8 October
Mary Valley Scarecrow Festival
Mary Valley
 
9 October
Floating Land: at the edge of ideas
Boreen Point
9 - 10 October
Sunshine Coast Marathon
Alexandra Headlands
 

9 October
Nambour Gemfest
Nambour Showgrounds
 

16 October
Blackall 100
Mapleton
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