It is exactly 84 days until the Commonwealth Games will be held on the Gold Coast. So, will this really have any benefit for the rest of Queensland and the Sunshine Coast?
I believe it will and can be very significant, but we must come together to roll out the welcome mat, slap a big smile on the dial and showcase the best experiences we have to offer.
Due to our idyllic climate and top-notch ‘natural’ and built training facilities, the Sunshine Coast will be the hub for up to nine countries in the lead up the Commonwealth Games.
Sunshine Coast Council must be commended on attracting athletes, supporters and families from Singapore, Scotland, England, Wales, New Zealand, Isle of Man, Niue and St Helena along with a number of athletes from domestic sporting teams, including Australia’s Olympic champion women’s sevens rugby squad.
Not only is it the millions of dollars injected into the economy during the camps, but if the teams feel welcome and have a great experience; it will be the word of mouth and return visitation that we can expect to deliver long term and everlasting benefits.
Internationally, we have a platform to promote the region. For example, our organisation has been actively running promotions in Scotland and working closely with Tourism and Events Queensland to host media in the lead up to the event with attention to keep the Sunshine Coast foremost in the minds of readers and viewers for what else to do around the games.
In addition to the international exposure, not every Gold Coast local will embrace the crowds and will be looking for an escape. Similar, to the staging of the G20 in Brisbane a few years ago, we anticipate an increase of Gold Coast visitors to head north to the Sunshine Coast during the games period.
And while the event will coincide with Queensland and Victorian school holiday dates, it will be followed by New South Wales and South Australian holidays and targeted correctly; it could be pitched as ‘come to the games’ and then head up the road to the Sunshine Coast for holidays.
With teams and media arriving from next month, we will be on show to the world and I say, let the games begin!