Sunshine Coast smashes tourism records

Noosa Heads National Park from an aerial perspective at sunset. Noosa is a very popular beach Queensland's Sunshine Coast in Australia

If you’ve never been to the Sunshine Coast, what have you been doing with your life?

The attractive spot just experienced it’s hottest winter on record (who doesn’t love summer weather in winter, amiright?) and has increased it’s international visitors by over 11 per cent.

So thats two records. Two! The some 296,000 visitors to the Sunshine Coast also contributed almost $250 million in visitor spending to the economy.

The International Visitor Statistics were released yesterday by Tourism Research Australia and show New Zealand folks remains the Sunshine Coast’s biggest fans (and visitors), growing over 12 per cent to a total of 71,000 visitors.

The region also attracted 58,000 visitors from the UK, 36,000 from Germany and 19,000 visited from the US. Asian arrivals totalled 21,000 while the region attracted 15,000 visitors from Scandinavia – increasing by 38.5 per cent and 13,000 from Canada up by over 20 per cent.

CEO of Visit Sunshine Coast (VSC) Simon Latchford said the unprecedented growth and number of international tourists arriving was heating up almost as much as their ‘winter’.

“The Sunshine Coast experienced 11.6 per cent growth in international visitors against a backdrop of a state-wide increase of 5.6 per cent and a national increase of 8.7 per cent.

“This really highlights the commitment by all Sunshine Coast operators and tourism bodies in marketing the region,” he said.

“The region remains one of Queensland’s most popular destinations for international visitors – and rightly so – Caloundra, Maroochydore, Mooloolaba, Coolum and Noosa through to Rainbow Beach have been established for many decades as some of Australia’s favourite beach destinations; but what has been particularly encouraging is the interest in our Hinterland attractions – the adventure options, health retreats, the historic Hinterland villages and the incredible richness of our food producers,” he added.

The consistent growth has been a result of the Sunshine Coast’s collective marketing campaigns from Sunshine Coast Council, Tourism and Events Queensland – working with airline partners like Air New Zealand (hence the New Zealand growth).

“None of this is possible without consistent campaign activity in New Zealand, a dedicated team approach of our Australia’s Nature Coast (ANC) partnership with collective marketing programs in UK and Europe through to new campaign partnerships in Canada delivering and demonstrating fantastic results for our region,” Latchford said.

“Looking ahead, our strategic approach for 2017 to 2020 is to continue to focus on top performing western markets while we also start to expand and focus our efforts on the new and emerging markets in Scandinavia, France and South East Asia,” he continued.

The Sunshine Coast has a whole bunch of initiatives and promotions going; partnering with companies like TEQ, Singapore Airlines and ANC partners. Flight Centre Australia also ran a campaign promoting the region during July and August – which will no doubt bring in even more visitors from all over the globe.

“Finally and most importantly, recognising Sunshine Coast Councils’ expertise and efforts in securing major events alongside their support in allowing us to grow international capacity has made the increases in international visitors a reality,” Latchford said.

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