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Mice Net : June 2009
sunshine coast you are my sunshine story By johanna mc kinnon With Winter biting at the heels of those in the southern states of Australia it’s the perfect time to head north to enjoy the sunshine. S Sunshine Coast. Photo courtesy of Alan Jensen. Tourism Queensland. unshine is certainly something we can’t live without, and according to recent results, more delegates have been choosing the sunny Sunshine Coast for their meetings. In 2007-8 the region surged in popularity with a 14.8 per cent increase in business events. The figures are from the latest Queensland Business Events Survey which positioned the Sunshine Coast at the top of the state leader board with 667 business events held during the year. Tourism Sunshine Coast CEO Russell Mason said the strong growth was a significant achievement in light of the current economic environment. “It is promising to see strong growth in business events during a time when businesses were cutting back on conference expenditure. The combined marketing efforts of the Sunshine Coast Convention Bureau and industry operators have obviously paid dividends,” he said. And with news of the formation of a new regional body dedicated to tourism for the region, the Sunshine Coast will continue to become a big contender for more business events. The Sunshine Coast Regional Council and local tourism industry leaders reached an in-principle agreement in April to support a new regional tourism body. As a result the Maroochy Tourism Industry Advisory Board will be dissolved and a new central reference group will be appointed to oversee tourism activities. Tourism Sunshine Coast will cease operations when the new regional body starts operation. The new structure will enable a unified approach to marketing the Sunshine Coast, and will include Caloundra, Maroochydore, Noosa, and Gympie. Mr Mason said it will be a better way to market the region in such a competitive marketplace. “The business events sector is very important for the Sunshine Coast and that’s why I’m lobbying the council for more support,” he said. The new regional body will be responsible for region-wide tourism marketing activity, will work in partnership with destination desks within each area, prepare a Sunshine Coast Tourism Strategic Plan, and undertake additional research. Movement at the SCCB Anne-Marie Coulton has stepped down as manager of the Sunshine Coast Convention Bureau but will remain on as a consultant. Ms Coulton’s official term will be completed on June 30. TSC CEO Russell Mason said at this stage no one will be replacing Ms Coulton, and he will be taking over parts of the role. 72 mice.net