Update from Visit Sunshine Coast                                                     View this email in your browser

Greater Brisbane lockdown ends midday today - Easter 'good to go'

It was the best news we could have received this morning when Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced that Greater Brisbane’s three-day lockdown will end at midday today.

Easter is good to go on the Sunshine Coast.

While the news is positive, I understand that this week has been incredibly stressful for tourism operators across our region. The uncertainty of knowing when, or if, the lockdown would end has had an impact on consumer confidence, and I know a lot of you have experienced an influx of cancellations over the past few days.

However, with most of our Easter holiday-makers arriving from the drive market we can still expect to see an influx of visitors today as Queenslanders honour their existing bookings across our region. There are still some last-minute vacancies, and our hope if is that this morning’s announcement will inspire holiday-makers to book an Easter escape on the Sunshine Coast.

In further good news, the Federal Government’s half-price airfare scheme started today - which includes fares to Sunshine Coast Airport - and will provide an important boost to the region over the winter season.

I would like to thank everyone across our industry for following and continuing to adhere with the public health directions. There are still be some restrictions in place - including mandatory face masks across all of Queensland - and I encourage you all to display the appropriate signage in your business (posters below) to ensure we keep up the good work.

I wish you and your families a safe and Happy Easter.

Matt Stoeckel
CEO, Visit Sunshine Coast

The details - what you need to know about lockdown ending

From 12 noon today, the Greater Brisbane lockdown will be lifted. Some restrictions will remain in place for all of Queensland until Thursday 15 April.

From 12 noon 1 April 2021:
  • you must carry a face mask at all times and wear indoors, unless you have a lawful reason not to
  • you can leave your home for any purpose. You can travel anywhere in Australia. Please note other states and territories may have restrictions in place that prevent you from travelling to them
  • Customers must check into venues and provide their contact details in case Queensland Health needs to contact you
  • 500 people can gather in public spaces (outdoors)
  • Weddings are allowed 200 guests

Stay up to date on Queensland Health's website.

Face mask poster for businesses

Queensland Health has released a mandatory face mask poster for operators to print and display in their business. Access the poster here, and please display until restrictions around mask wearing requirements are eased.

Check in Qld app mandatory

The State Government has announced its new COVID-Safe Check in Qld app will be mandatory for most hospitality businesses across Queensland from 1 May to assist with contact tracing efforts, including Queensland pubs, restaurants and cafes. The move allows contact tracers to more readily access information at a critical time for the State’s public health response. For more information and to register for Check In Qld, click here


In the media: Events + coverage

VSC’s Media and PR team recently held a targeted media event in Melbourne to showcase the Sunshine Coast to Victoria-based travel writers. The event attracted 23 journalists from across publications such as Traveller, Senior Traveller and prolific freelance writers.

To raise the profile of VSC and encourage Sunshine Coast residents to support local tourism, VSC is working together with My Weekly Preview to share stories from local tourism operators and local travel ideas. View an example here.

The Courier-Mail’s QWeekend magazine recently featured a double-page spread on the Sunshine Coast following a famil with journalist Michelle Collins - read it here


Trade partners visit Coast

VSC’s Trade team recently hosted delegates from Helloworld, Fusion Holidays, WebBeds and Yonda Holiday group in region to showcase Sunshine Coast products and experiences. The group explored Caloundra, Mooloolaba, the Sunshine Coast Hinterland and Nambour, and attended the VSC Networking night to meet our members and discuss opportunities. A big thank you to all the suppliers who participated in the Famil.

VSC also attended Aspect Tourism’s Reunion Tour in Sydney and Melbourne in mid-March, meeting with more than 35 Australian based inbound, wholesale and OTA trade partners to get an understanding of their business currently, identify any opportunities for when the international markets re-open and to maintain existing relationships.

Strand old time at networking

Thank you to our members and wider industry who joined us at Caloundra’s Strand Arcade for our March networking night, held in conjunction with the Caloundra Chamber of Commerce. Details will be released shortly on our April networking event, which will be the annual Conversations with Industry - Sunshine Coast event held by Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ) on the Sunshine Coast - stay tuned!

Tourism news, training and opportunities

Staff update
Head of Marketing Jo Prothero departed VSC last month. We wish Jo all the best and thank her for her contribution in leading the marketing team and bringing the new brand ‘For real’ to life. Recruitment for a replacement has commenced. To find out more see here.

Date set
The New Zealand Government will announce a commencement date for quarantine-free travel between Australia and New Zealand on 6 April.
How has COVID impacted your business?
Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC) has released the Queensland March National Tourism Business Activity and COVID Impact Survey. Survey responses will help QTIC drive their advocacy on behalf of tourism businesses. The collated results of this survey will be shared with Government and will underpin QTIC’s industry strategies and planning for business survival and tourism recovery.

Counselling service for Queensland operators
The Department of Tourism, Innovation and Sport (DTIS) has launched the Queensland Tourism Business Financial Counselling Service to support tourism businesses with free valuable financial counselling services as they navigate through the impacts of COVID-19. 

Digital tools to help Australian businesses
The Australian Government has launched a range of digital tools to help Australian businesses to reach new international markets and customers. The website features interactive market insights, trends as well as information on grants, funding, local laws and regulations, distribution and shipping. More here.
Tourism Australia market briefings
Tourism Australia will be holding a series of Market Briefings for the Australian Industry ahead of the 2021 Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE21). The briefings will update the tourism industry on the state of play in key markets and industry guest speakers will join the Tourism Australia team in each of the updates. The briefings will also assist with the preferencing process for those attending ATE21. Find out more and register here.

Latest national visitor survey results released

The latest National Visitor Survey figures covering the October – December quarter for 2020 showed that while closed borders for much of the period caused a major reduction in interstate visitor numbers, the Sunshine Coast registered a rise of 11.4% in intrastate travellers (to 904,000) compared to the same period in 2019. Tourism Research Australia reported that the Sunshine Coast registered the highest intrastate growth of any region within Queensland for the quarter. Overall domestic visitor arrivals (including interstate) for the Sunshine Coast in the December quarter were 987,000, a reduction of 13.3% compared to 2019. This was due to interstate borders being closed to the key Sydney and Melbourne markets, as well as Adelaide, for over two months during the quarter. For the 12 months to 31 December 2020, the Sunshine Coast recorded significant falls in visitation across all markets, with 3 million domestic visitors (down 25.1%) and overnight visitor expenditure of $2 billion, down 28.9%. 

Congrats Bellingham Maze!


Congratulations to Bellingham Maze who took out first place in the Hot 100 things to do on the Sunshine Coast campaign! The campaign was a joint initiative of VSC and local radio station Hot 91 to compile the ultimate list of things to do on the Sunshine Coast. 

VIDEO: Mooloolaba Tri


VSC supported the recent Mooloolaba Tri by capturing video content to promote the event in years to come. Watch the video here. More than 4238 competitors headed to Mooloolaba for the event, with 79.7% of athletes visiting from outside the Sunshine Coast region. VSC supported the event through marketing initiatives, including targeted content with Ironman.

What's on! Leisure events

2 - 3 April
Easter Eggstravanza at NightQuarter
2 - 18 April
Easter Festivities at Australia Zoo
Australia Zoo
9 - 11 April
Caravan, Camping, Fishing & 4X4 Expo
Nambour Showgrounds
16 - 24 April
The Aussies
Maroochydore, Alexandra Headlands & Mooloolaba
16 - 18 April
Queensland Oztag Junior State Cup
Sunshine Coast Stadium
24 April
People Plates Places - Autumn Dinner
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