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Sunshine Coast industry up and running and full of promise!

Good news this week for Sunshine Coast operators: you have a refreshed brand to get behind and Federal investment to revitalise your events sector.

Regional tourism organisation Visit Sunshine Coast (VSC) unveiled its new destination brand ‘For real’ following successful campaign launch. VSC says the new branding better encapsulates the authenticity of experiences that the Sunshine Coast is known for.

VSC Interim CEO Craig Davidson explained that “For real” had been developed over the past 18 months in partnership with creative agency Banjo but took on a new relevance following the pandemic, with extensive research highlighting travellers’ desires for authentic, nature-based and real experiences.

He said: “The new branding segues from our previous ‘naturally refreshing’ tagline, which has served us well for the past 10 years but our research showed was no longer setting us apart in the marketplace. Instead, we recognised the increasing importance of authenticity and nature in people’s travel choices, and the new For real brand resonated strongly with travellers.

“For real will be instrumental in driving VSC’s marketing activities into the next decade as we position the Sunshine Coast as one of Australia’s most desired, premium destinations for families, couples, groups and business events.It builds on the region’s unique natural advantage of being home to many of Australia’s most pristine environments, including uncrowded beaches, two UNESCO Biosphere Reserves, a World Heritage Marine Park, the dramatic Glass House Mountains and sub-tropical rainforest of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland.

“What has progressed so strongly is being able to offer tourism experiences that match the environment, and this brand is just as much about recognising those experiences, the people, culture, food and lifestyle that make up the fabric of the Sunshine Coast.”

The new brand follows in the footsteps of VSC’s latest marketing campaign also named For real, which since its launch in October, has recorded more than 3 million social media impressions driving over 20,000 visitors to the dedicated Visit Sunshine Coast For Real webpage.

VSC has partnered with booking agents Wotif.com and Experience Oz for the campaign, with phase two offering consumers mid-week ‘Real Deals’ on the Sunshine Coast to help further drive bookings to local tourism operators.

Mr Davidson said the launch of the new brand was perfectly timed with the arrival of VSC’s new CEO Matt Stoeckel who will take up his position with the company in early 2021.

“We are extremely excited by the launch and look forward to showing visitors the depth of experiences we have here on the Sunshine Coast – For real,” he said.

The news of the refreshed Sunshine Coast brand followed positive reaction to news of the Federal Government’s $50m Business Events Grant Program, Business Events Sunshine Coast (BESC) expressed confidence that this will revitalise the crucial business events industry.

BESC Manager Maureen Brennan said the announcement will give business event organisers the confidence to plan and commit financially to events in 2021 and create demand for business buyers and sellers to participate at these events. 

She said: “The Sunshine Coast business events industry is open for business and pleasingly the criteria for regional events under this program suits the Sunshine Coast profile as a fresh destination for hosting business events with a diverse range of venues located in our region. This funding will form a critical part of recovery for our industry and is a great opportunity for the Sunshine Coast region to get business events up and running again.”

With exciting venue developments, the Sunshine Coast is well placed as the ideal regional business events destination.

Last year saw the opening of the Sunshine Coast Convention Centre located within the natural beauty of bush and beach at Novotel Sunshine Coast Resort and earlier this year, the Sunshine Coast celebrated the completion of the $8.18 million redevelopment of its premier performing arts centre, The Events Centre Caloundra.

The latest venue to be launched is the exciting new entertainment precinct – NightQuarter. Boasting five stages and six unique event spaces; the venue offers exclusive use for 500 to 1500 guests or groups can immerse themselves in the action with a sectioned area or join one of the curated experiences.

The Sunshine Coast Business Events Assistance Program, facilitated by Business Events Sunshine Coast (BESC) in partnership with the Sunshine Coast Council, also offers funding for eligible business events, the BESC team provides support to planners with the process.

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