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Visit Sunshine Coast Chair – David Ryan

This weekend marks the winter solstice and signifies a new period where the hemisphere is tilted, and suitably we acknowledge this as a new beginning and time of rejuvenation and re-opening for our tourism industry.

We welcome the announcement of a new airport route from Sunshine Coast Airport to Cairns backed by the Queensland Government and Alliance Airlines.

The new route will fly three return services per week from 17 July and is expected to deliver 40,000 passengers every year and deliver a much needed $2.8 million injection of spend into the region.

Our team at Visit Sunshine Coast will work with partners Sunshine Coast Airport and Tourism Noosa to market the flights as this will provide an opportunity in the short-term for more Queenslanders to visit the region and long term will provide a gateway to high-value international visitors.

We expect there will be considerable interest from the north Queensland market as the Sunshine Coast offers a distinctly different holiday experience from what visitors normally experience, and it will also help facilitate business travel and conferences in the future.

Following the easing of restrictions earlier this month, our tourism industry has been gradually welcoming back visitors to accommodation, re-opening the doors of tourism attractions and restaurants. It is pleasing to see restaurant precincts such as Ocean Street in Maroochydore and the Esplanade and The Wharf in Mooloolaba coming back to life.

We urge all tourism businesses to ensure compliance with the Queensland Health approved Tourism and Accommodation Industry Covid-Safe Plan. This gives operators guidance to return to business with increased confidence in providing a COVID-safe work environment for staff and customers.

Further to this and in a world of instant online reviews and word of mouth, it has never been more important for tourism businesses to provide a high quality of service. In many ways, restrictions dictating smaller numbers on tours and in restaurants allows our industry to provide a more exclusive and personalised service.

Working together as one ‘Team Sunshine Coast’, we continue to support and encourage operators to put the best foot forward, roll out the red carpet and welcome back our guests!

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