Update from Visit Sunshine Coast                                                     View this email in your browser

Pitch across the ditch! Visit Sunshine Coast launches Kiwi campaign

It’s official, from 19 April the long-awaited travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand will begin, and Visit Sunshine Coast (VSC) is ready to welcome Kiwis back across the ditch. Prior to the pandemic New Zealand attracted 84,000 visitors to the Sunshine Coast, equating to 650,000 room nights and an economic value of $110 million, making it our largest international market.

Direct flights from Auckland to Sunshine Coast Airport with Air New Zealand will restart on 28 June, and last week VSC launched a three-month campaign in New Zealand to entice Kiwis back to the Sunshine Coast. The For Real campaign will roll out across social media, search engine marketing and YouTube, showcasing the breadth and depth of experiences our region has to offer. The campaign is ideally timed to encourage Kiwis to take a winter break on the Sunshine Coast, which has traditionally been a strong travel period for the Kiwi market. 

VSC also has a 10-page feature in MINDFOOD Magazine New Zealand's latest edition, the editorial perfectly timed to encourage Kiwis to start planning their Sunshine Coast escape, read the article here. In the coming months, VSC will also launch a robust industry development program “Restart New Zealand”. The program will include workshops and mentoring to ensure local operators are ready to welcome back Kiwi travellers and maximise the benefits of once again having access to our largest international market.

The new initiatives follow in the footsteps of a For Real social media campaign VSC launched in New Zealand in anticipation for the travel bubble announcement, which reached just under 500,000 people with more than 2 million social impressions.

View more on VSC’s activity in New Zealand here.


Vote now! Top Tourism Town

Four local towns have been shortlisted as finalists in the Queensland Tourism Industry Council Top Tourism Town Awards! The awards cover two categories: the ‘Top Tourism Town’ award for towns with a population over 5,000 and the ‘Small Tourism Town Award’ for towns with a population below 5,000. Noosa is shortlisted as a finalist in the first category, with Eumundi, Montville and Rainbow Beach shortlisted in the second. We encourage our tourism industry to get behind our local towns and vote for the Sunshine Coast! Voting closes 26 April, vote here.

Another Weekender episode!

A dedicated Sunshine Coast episode of Weekender went to air on Sunday showcasing the sub-regions of Nambour and the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. The episode was funded and coordinated by VSC, and is the first of another four dedicated half-hour episodes to go to air showcasing our region over the coming months. Each episode has a media value of $206,472, reaches a broadcast audience of 335,100 and has an average weekly reach on Facebook and Instagram of 480,000. Watch the episode here.

Register now! SCouT is back bigger than ever before

It’s back! The Sunshine Coast Big Day Out for Tourism Operators - SCouT21 - is returning on 4 May from 4-7pm! The event is the Sunshine Coast’s largest tourism exchange hosted by VSC in partnership with Sunshine Coast Council, and invites operators from across the region to make connections and showcase their business to fellow industry.

More than 100 exhibitors across attractions, food and beverage, event and event services, transport and travel services, tours an experiences will be on display on the day. Accommodation providers, as well as other members of industry, are invited to attend and make connections with some of the top operators from across the region. Industry are encouraged to use this opportunity to create new connections and packages to ensure visitors to the region have the best experience. View the full exhibitor list here.

Following the trade event there will be a keynote speaker and evening networking event.

Register your attendance here!

Join our roadshow

VSC and Tourism Noosa (TN) are running a domestic roadshow from 17-21 May for operators to grow their business opportunities with key trade partners and increase their distribution. The roadshow will see delegates visit Adelaide, Cairns, Canberra and Sydney meeting with key inbound tour operators, retail travel agents and online travel agents. To participate, you must be a trade and international member with VSC or TN and be trade and export ready. For more information, email Emily Zinowki

New interstate campaign

With the Queensland borders reopened to our southern states, VSC has launched a competition into Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra giving away a holiday to the Sunshine Coast! There are three holiday prizes up for grabs – one for each market - and the competition closes on 19 April. To go in the running visitors are encouraged to subscribe to VSC’s newsletter, expanding our database to target travellers seeking a Sunshine Coast escape. The winners will be drawn 22 April.

COVID update – need to know

Following the Greater Brisbane lockdown which ended before Easter, additional restrictions still remain in place across the state. 

Masks must be carried at all times and worn indoors until this Thursday, 15 April. It is recommended they are worn outdoors when social distancing may not be possible. You can display this poster to remind your guests of the requirement. There are also extensive Q&As covering mask wearing requirements in different situations.

Some businesses have sought clarification on the advice that businesses should adhere to having one patron per two square metres. Queensland Health has confirmed that businesses who are operating under the COVID Safe Industry Plan, Checklist or an Annex to the plan, can continue to operate as they were. The only additional requirements that have been placed on restricted businesses since the lockdown that would impact the tourism and events industry are seated eating and drinking when indoors, no dancing indoors and the wearing of masks.

Check in Qld App 
The Check In Queensland 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.  More information is available here.

Conversations with Industry

Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ) is partnering with VSC to hold Conversations With Industry – Sunshine Coast on Wednesday, 28 April. The event will be held at Peppers Noosa Resort & Villas, and invites tourism and events businesses to join TEQ in person to connect with the latest insights, TEQ’s marketing and event activities and opportunities to get involved. There will also be an opportunity to connect with TEQ specialists during breakout sessions. Spaces are limited, register your attendance here.  

Qld Tourism Awards webinar

The Queensland Tourism Awards are returning in 2021 to recognise the outstanding achievements of the state's tourism industry, including individuals, businesses (industry operators) and events. The awards cover 30 categories, and to assist businesses with their awards submissions, Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC) has launched a judges webinar series covering a introduction to the awards and tips for entrants. Nominations for the Awards close Friday, 21 May. View the first webinar here, or learn more here.

VSC & tourism news in brief

Welcome new members
VSC would like to welcome our new members: Arts Connect, Beerwah Golf Club, Mitta Glen Guesthouse B&B, Boomerang Art - Aboriginal Art Gallery, Noosa Shores Resort, The Greenshed Sunshine Coast, Glass House Brewery and Surfing With Sam.

New figures
New data shows 17,900 people flew in to Sunshine Coast Airport over the Easter long weekend. Meanwhile searches on have surged by almost 460 per cent, in what is a positive sign for the Kiwi Market, the Sunshine Coast placed in the top five searches on the site. More here. spikes
Domestic travellers looking to book accommodation on the Sunshine Coast has spiked according to, which has seen close to an 80% increase in accommodation interest for the region. The jump directly correlates with the launch of the half-price airfare scheme by the Federal Government.

Driving publicity
Former professional race car driver Mark Webber has showcased his favourite drive through the Sunshine Coast Hinterland in a video with Porsche Australia, watch the video here.

What's on! Leisure events

16 - 24 April
The Aussies
Maroochydore, Alexandra Headlands & Mooloolaba

13 May
The Gympie Show
Gympie Showgrounds, Gympie
14 - 16 May
Jungle Love Festival
Borumba Deer Park, Imbil
15 - 23 May
Noosa Festival of Surfing
22 May
Big Pineapple Music Festival
Pineapple Fields, Woombye
21 - 25 May
Volkswagen Scramble Championship Final
Novotel Sunshine Coast Resort
28 - 30 May
Craft Beer and Cider Festival
30 May
Goomeri Pumpkin Festival
30 May
Sunshine Coast MTB Festival
Ewen Maddock Dam
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