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Bloomin’ successful Queensland Garden Expo and NRL team hub highlights potential for growth

The Sunshine Coast’s reputation for staging nature-based events – even during Covid – has paid off with thousands converging on the Nambour Showgrounds for the  36th annual Queensland Garden Expo.

Blessed with sunny skies over the weekend, the organisers were able to present Australia’s largest gardening speaker program and over 300 exhibitors despite ongoing border disruptions and a three-day lockdown in Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast the week prior.

Queensland Garden Expo organiser, Marion Beazley, said that despite the uncertainty caused by local and interstate lockdowns, the event had been a tremendous success for the Sunshine Coast.

“The economic impact of this event is estimated to be between $8M and $11M so we were thrilled that the event was able to go ahead, particularly after last year’s cancellation for the first time in its 37-year history,” Ms Beazley said.

“While there was much uncertainty in the weeks prior to the event, we are delighted at how well-supported the event was and thank all who participated and attended for their patience and efforts in making the 36th Queensland Garden Expo a great success.”

The events calendar for the Sunshine Coast for 2021 is boasting a diverse range of events including the Horizon arts festival in August, the Caloundra Music Festival in October and an extensive collection of sporting-based events headlined by the Sunshine Coast Marathon in August.

The Sunshine Coast’s natural resources, accessibility and enviable environment has also led to the region being selected by the National Rugby League (NRL) as a hub for four NSW rugby teams needing to relocate as a result of the Sydney lockdown.

Under the agreement, the Knights, Panthers, Roosters and Sea Eagles will be based at Novotel Sunshine Coast Resort, which offers extensive sporting and exercise facilities including watersports, adventure trails, an adjacent beach and its own full size football field.

“The Sunshine Coast has consistently demonstrated its ability to stage large-scale outdoor events like the ‘Aussies’ surf life-saving championships earlier this year and now the Queensland Garden Expo, and we believe our nature-based environment will attract even more groups and events over the next year,” said Visit Sunshine Coast CEO, Matt Stoeckel.

“We also have the advantage of a massively-upgraded airport runway, which has enhanced our ability to host groups from around the country and across the Tasman.”

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