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We all know if access to a region is easy and affordable, then people are more likely to visit. That is why maintenance of the existing roads, construction of more roads, a faster and more efficient rail line (short-listed for funding), cruise ship visits and the upgraded airport are crucial projects for the Sunshine Coast.

Late last year, our organisation held a workshop in conjunction with Main Roads for the tourism industry to be aware of changes and how it will impact individual businesses. There is no doubt there will be disruption and short-term pain for long term gain.

However, there are simple things tourism businesses can do to be smarter and more guest friendly. For example, allowing guests to check-in later and offer a light supper rather than shutting down Friday night check-in at 7pm. This would allow staggered and later arrivals so there is less congestion. Another way is to inform guests about the Queensland Traffic app. This is a handy tool for advising visitors travelling on the Bruce Highway to check live traffic and travel information and conditions for planning their journey.

Transportation is often overlooked but plays an important role in enriching the travel experience of a visitor.

Once visitors arrive on the Sunshine Coast and until now, public transport has been somewhat challenging for visitors to get around. But there is exciting talk about what is possible in the future from cycling and walking routes, driverless buses to a light rail project and in the interim there is now unlimited daily bus travel with the ‘go explore’ card.

The cost is $10 per day for adults and $5 per day for children 5-14 years old and children under 5 travel free. This cost includes unlimited daily travel on TransLink Sunbus services throughout the Sunshine Coast, including to popular tourist destinations. Visitors can buy ‘go explore’ from 7-Eleven and NightOwl stores, selected retailers, hotel booking desks, Airtrain desks at Brisbane Airport and the TransLink webshop.

Transportation can be so much more and can also turn into a separate tourist attraction element and experience such as taking an eco-cruise along the Maroochy River or flying over it in a sea plane and let’s not forget we will have our own scenic rail trip between Gympie and Amamoor with the newly revitalised Mary Valley Rattler getting back on the tracks in May 2018.

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