Destination Gympie’s Andrew Saunders, Mark Beech, Simon Latchford and CEO Simon Ambrose brought Sunshine Coast Destinations Ltd (SCDL ) and Sean Permezel
Rainbow Beach hosted visits from three key tourism leaders last month.
Destination Gympie’s Andrew Saunders brought Sunshine Coast Destinations Ltd (SCDL ) CEO Simon Ambrose, and Marketing Head, Simon Latchford to town, via the Great Beach Drive.
Thanks to SCDL our area has enjoyed 2.5 million dollars worth of promotion of the area in international markets and they say that Tourism Australia recognise that our sub-region (one of five on the Sunshine Coast) is a hotspot for tourism growth.
The partnership has been a win- win for both regions, attracting more Tourism “movers and shakers” and both executives saw that locals are champing at the bit to learn how to attract foreign travellers.
Tanya and Mark Beech are grateful to Jan Foletta from SCDL for making them “international ready”
Andrew Saunders also brought together tourism operators who were “international ready” and those “ready to take things to the next level and fill those quiet winter weeks and mid weeks.”
He introduced Jan Foletta (from DSC) responsible for international trade and the driving force of the Australia’s Nature Coast and the Great Beach Drive, and she had some good news.
Jan said she tells people, “If you could all take a leaf from Gympie/Cooloola – to see what you are doing working together, it makes our job so much easier.”
Steve Hargraves, Heatley Gilmore and Tyron van Santen are keen to see growth in tourism markets
She credits the huge number of international families and media exposure the area has had to “your attitude and most amazing destination – it is Australia’s best kept secret!”
These are big words coming from a person who has been working in the industry for 30 years, with a speciality in those international markets we are trying to attract: Europe, UK, US and Canada.
“When I first saw the area – I’m not a tourist but I said, “Oh my god, it is a hidden gem’.” exclaimed Jan.
“It is the Bryon Bay of 30 years ago. Backpackers always discover the hidden secrets first, then the rest of the world follows. You have the most amazing product.”
Working collaboratively: Rachel Croker, Cassandra Perryman, Mike and Kirstie Jordison
Six businesses are international ready, and six months ago there was one. Jan and the team have plans to grow it to ten.
“Be proud of the way you are working together – sell destination No. 1 and product No. 2.”
“You are the epicentre of ANC. The international traveller is not restricted to weekends, school holidays, peak times – they are travelling 365 days a year.”
Steve Hargraves from Surf and Sand Safaris smiled, “That’s why I haven’t had a day off!”
Andrew McCarthy, owner of Rainbow Beach Horse Rides is seeing benefits already from the program
Case study: Rainbow Beach Horse Rides
Rainbow Beach Horse Rides have been working closely with Sunshine Coast Destinations Ltd to bring awareness to our incredible destination!
We are spoiled with the beauty of our very unique beach at Rainbow, the coloured sands are featured in articles, magazines and even feature on the front cover of 101 Best Beaches in Australia!
Getting ready for the program all started with a hugely beneficial workshop in February, created especially for businesses on the Fraser Coast called “Demystifying Tourism Trade Distribution”.
Our branding has been changed to incorporate a greater area of South East Queensland to “Australia’s Nature Coast”.
The workshop was held over two days, the second day was a very specific one-on-one mentoring program that provided all the information needed to put us on the globe.
The program was run by three very talented business owners and entrepreneurs, with a six- week follow up program. And then we hit the roadshow in May!
Jan Foletta and the team from Sunshine Coast Destinations worked tirelessly to create an opportunity for each business from our region to meet the movers and shakers who are directly in touch with the international market on a daily basis… three states, 300 tour operators, non-stop selling our region.
And the outcome… A huge amount of interest in our region. But the best is yet to come, as our predicted growth just keeps getting better and better. There has been such a positive response from our local travel agents, domestic wholesalers and inbound tour operators.
Rainbow Beach Horse Rides is now contracted through Viator, (a division of TripAdvisor), so guests can book from anywhere in the world after viewing our TripAdvisor reviews.
We are very grateful for the support from SCDL, and Andrew Saunders and the team at Destination Gympie, but most importantly the collaborative work of all the amazing businesses in our area.