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By all accounts, the winter school holiday period has been very strong for our tourism businesses with a week remaining for New South Wales and South Australian visitors to enjoy.

For tourists interested in nature, adventure, food and laidback holidays, our ‘naturally refreshing’ qualities are a real magnet. And of course, we know our warmer climate is a real drawcard at this time of the year and appeals to many from the southern states and from across the ditch in New Zealand looking to escape the cold.

In addition to the usual swag of holiday activities there has also been events galore staged throughout the region which provides more reasons for people to visit.

Over the weekend, the weather was picture perfect for the Queensland Garden Expo. Attracting approximately 40,000 visitors over three days this event contributes to the region’s overall reputation and as we know visitors want engaging and authentic experiences. Gardening is always rated in the top three favoured recreation activities and the fact the Expo continues to grow in size and visitor numbers indicates, it is still as relevant now as it was when it first started 33 years ago. In fact, many people may not be aware but 60% of visitors to the event come from outside the local region and 30% of exhibitors travelled from interstate.

Also held over the weekend, our organisation was pleased to join forces with Canon to stage a Photography Festival that attracted over 200 participants (many from outside the region) and most importantly captured stunning images beamed to the world and let’s not forget about Sunshine Coast Lightning. As a proud founding partner, the game held on the Sunshine Coast over the weekend and telecast live saw Lightning overcome Collingwood Magpies – another catalyst for attracting players and supporters from our key market of Melbourne.

The activity isn’t slowing down anytime soon as tomorrow, our volunteers will be the first people to greet cruise passengers from the Pacific Eden as they disembark in Mooloolaba. They do an incredible job and also play a key role in encouraging visitors to return to the Sunshine Coast for a dedicated holiday in the future.

Over the next week, we look forward to welcoming over 600 cyclists for Velothon Sunshine Coast, we will partner with the Food and Agribusiness Network to showcase 8 local food and beverage companies at Regional Flavours food festival in Brisbane and will host a group of New Zealand event planners for three days to increase future business and incentive group bookings to the region.

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