Coast tourism aims for the big time

By Justin Sayson

Sunshine Coast tourism operators say they are preparing to work together to take on the region’s big-city rivals.

The Inaugural SCouT: Sunshine Coast Big Day Out for Tourism Operators will be held at the Lake Kawana Community Centre this Wednesday.

Aussie World sales manager Wayne Poole said the Coast needed to keep up with the bigger cities, north and south of the Coast.

“[We’re] always playing catch-up with the Gold Coast, Cairns and Brisbane,” he said.

“They already have runways, strategic marketing activities and tourists that we can only aspire to get visitation from.”

With international visitors to the Coast up by 9.5%, Mr Poole said businesses were letting tourists down when trying to cater for their needs.

“A visitor gets here they may have dinner after 9, they go to town and every restaurant is closed in the main street of that town after 8 o’clock that night,” he said.

“We’re letting ourselves down on a holistic approach.

“These types of events where we partner with everyone walk around and understand with what’s in our backyard, working together so we can have a more robust product offering.”

Free for any eligible tourism business, Visit Sunshine Coast CEO Simon Latchford that this would be a “must attend” event.

Big Pineapple Renewal Project director Jim Costello said the seminar was “about 12 months too early” for them, but he saw the value in Coast businesses collaborating to keep people coming to the area.

“We’ve got people for one day but what about days two, three, four and five?” he said.

Mr Costello announced a Tree Top high ropes course for the Big Pineapple last Friday and there are further plans to have camping grounds and a hotel on the 170-hectare area.

Mr Costello said he hoped they could be part of the answer to the Coast’s tourism problem.

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