Update from Visit Sunshine Coast                                                     View this email in your browser

2021 Sub-Regional Co-Operative Campaign launched!

Visit Sunshine Coast (VSC) has joined forces with the region’s tourism operators to launch the Sub-Regional Co-Operative Marketing Campaign! The high-profile initiative will target the drive market, encouraging Queenslanders to explore their own backyard in ways they haven’t done before, driving bookings to the Sunshine Coast during our low and shoulder seasons (March and May-June). The campaign aims to:
  1. Profile each of the Sunshine Coast Council’s sub-regions to raise consumer awareness of each region.
  2. Showcase the myriad of unique tourism experiences within each sub-region to drive consumer consideration and planning.
  3. Under a co-operative marketing framework, drive bookings to sub-regional tourism operators during low and shoulder seasons.
The first stage of the campaign includes targeted social media campaigns for each sub-region, which drive to a dedicated landing page on the Sunshine Coast For Real website. VSC also profiled the sub-regions in The Courier-Mail’s special Easter Holiday wrap. The wrap went to print on Wednesday, 10 March, highlighting hidden gems, camping spots and Easter events on the Sunshine Coast. 
Events & Opportunities!

Caloundra Beach Party!

Ditch the shoes, roll up your trousers and join us for a night of networking on Bulcock Beach! On Wednesday, 24 March from 5:30-7:30pm, VSC is teaming up with the Caloundra Chamber of Commerce for a beach soiree to remember, complete with welcome drinks on arrival and canapes throughout the evening. The night will also reveal the winners of the ‘Sunshine Coast Hot 100 Campaign’ – a joint venture of VSC and local radio station Hot 91 encouraging tourism operators and Sunshine Coast locals to nominate their favourite thing to do in the region. Tickets cost $25 for members or $35 for non-member (plus GST) - we look forward to seeing you there! Get your tickets here.

Save the date! SCouT21

SAVE THE DATE: The Sunshine Coast’s leading tourism and networking exchange is back! SCouT21 will be held on Tuesday, 4 May from 3:30pm (with networking at 5:30pm) at the Sunshine Coast Convention Centre, Novotel Sunshine Coast Resort. Create working relationships with more than 100 Sunshine Coast tourism operators, grow referrals for your business and hear from leading tourism professionals. The free event will run like a tourism expo, with more than 100 local exhibitors from across event and event services, food and beverage, tours and experiences, transport and travel services and attractions on display. More to come!

Queensland Tourism Awards


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. Now operating for 35 years, the awards cover 30 categories ranging from attractions, events, tour and transport, accommodation, restaurants, culture, marketing and more. More here.

Tourism Support

The Federal Government has announced a new $1.2 billion support package for the tourism and aviation industries. The package includes: 
  • Tourism Aviation Network Support (TANS) program, which halves the cost of up to 800,000 airfares. Sunshine Coast Airport is included in the package, with half-price fares from Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide available from 1 April.
  • Extending the $50 million Business Events Grants program by three months to support the events sector.
  • Extending the $94.6 million Zoos and Aquarium program by six months, so that zoos, aquariums and wildlife parks maintain their animal populations.
  • A further support package for travel agents, so they can continue to process refunds and hold credits for Australian consumers. 
In addition, the Small Medium Enterprise Loan Guarantee Scheme will be extended.
Restrictions eased

Queensland's borders are currently to open to visitors from all parts of Australia.

Easing of gathering restrictions
Restrictions eased further in Queensland from 1:00am on Saturday 13 March. Gatherings of up to 100 people will be allowed in homes and up to 500 people will be able to gather outdoors. More information is available on the Queensland Health website.

Easter camping changes
Easter holiday camping restrictions have also been eased, with more visitors able to camp in Queensland’s national parks and forests.  

Recent changes to weddings and funerals
In a positive step towards recovery for Queensland's venues, the Restrictions on Businesses, Activities and Undertakings Direction (No.15) have been updated, allowing up to 200 people or one person per two square metres (whichever is greater) to attend a wedding or funeral conducted under the COVID Safe Framework. More information available here.

Delegates, trade targeted


VSC raised the profile of the Sunshine Coast as a destination for incentive travel at a recent function in Sydney. The highly targeted event invited Sydney’s business event and incentive planners, as well as trade partners, to learn more about the destination. More than 30 people attended the event, which finished with everyone being invited on a mega famil to the Sunshine Coast. An update was also given on VSC’s new Incentive travel website.

Welcome to Country 

2021 is the Year of Indigenous Tourism in Queensland, and VSC has worked together with the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we live, work and learn – the Kabi Kabi and Jinibara people – to create four welcome to country videos. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging and we would like to extend that respect to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in our community. View the videos here.

New! Flights to Sunshine Coast


Virgin Australia will increase capacity to Sunshine Coast Airport, including a new four-times-a-week service from Adelaide between 29 March and 25 April 2021. Virgin Australia has also added more direct services between Sunshine Coast-Melbourne and Sunshine Coast-Sydney. Alliance Airlines has also opened up a new twice weekly service to the public between Emerald and Sunshine Coast Airport.

New! Work on Holiday Inn begins


Pro-invest Group has started construction on the new Holiday Inn Express & Suites Sunshine Coast in the heart of the Maroochydore CBD. The nine story hotel on First Avenue, Maroochydore will feature 181 rooms, a roof-top swimming pool, bar and dining venue, conference and function facilities, parking and ground-level retail space. Work on the hotel is expected to be complete by May 2022. 

Tourism news in brief

VSC attends ATEC Southern Queensland Online Tradeshow: Last week VSC and the Ginger Factory participated in ATEC’s Southern Queensland Online Tradeshow. VSC met with 36 key trade partners to provide updates on new products and experiences in our region. VSC are working more closely with ATEC having recently joined ATEC’s Southern Queensland Committee to get a better understanding of opportunities and support for our region.

Gympie and The Mary Valley featured in QWeekend on Saturday following a VSC organised media famil with travel journalist Laura Waters.

A COVID Safe event planning webinar will be held on Thursday, 25 March from 10-11am AEST. Event organisers, local councils, regional tourism organisations and other event stakeholders are invited to join this Queensland Government webinar.

Queensland Destination Events Program funding round 19 applications now open, accepting applications for support for destination events being held from January 2022 – January 2023. Applications close 9 June 2021.

The JobMaker Hiring Credit: Businesses that are creating new positions and employing young Australians may be eligible for a new wage subsidy called the JobMaker Hiring Credit, paid by the ATO. Employers that are increasing both their headcount and payroll can receive up to $10,400 per year for each new job they fill with an eligible employee aged 16 to 29 years, and $5,200 for each eligible employee aged 30 to 35 years.

INXS co-founder, Andrew Farriss, has put Gympie and the Mary Valley on the map, filming his latest music video on board the historic Mary Valley Rattler. Watch the video here.
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