Sunshine Coast Destination and Fraser Coast Opportunities have joined forces to showcase Australia’s Nature Coast to trade operators in Sydney and Melbourne this week.
Over twenty tourism operators from the two regions are presenting a series of workshops and forums on Australia’s finest nature products and experiences for tourism product managers.
Australia’s Nature Coast was launched almost a year ago and the initiative is a partnership between Sunshine Coast Destination, Fraser Coast Opportunities, Tourism Noosa, Gympie Cooloola Tourism, Destination Gympie Region, Great Sandy Biosphere and Noosa Biosphere to promote a world class eco-destination.
Spanning the Sunshine and Fraser coasts, Australia’s Nature Coast represents ‘the best of Queensland’s’ natural attractions and experiences, including two UNESCO Biosphere Reserves side by side; the Great Sandy and Noosa Biospheres, a display of nature seen nowhere else in the world. World Heritage listed Fraser Island; Lady Elliot Island the most southern island on the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef; 47 State and National Parks, Reserves and Forests, over 200 kilometres of pristine beaches, calm rivers and waterways and an abundance of birdlife.
A key target for the Sydney and Melbourne expos is the Asian inbound sector, with the region confident that its natural attractions, vibrant food scene, ideal climate and easy access from Brisbane Airport, will make it increasingly attractive to both the more established south-east Asia markets, and the emerging China market.
CEO of Sunshine Coast Destination Limited, Simon Ambrose, commented after the Sydney expo: “We had an outstanding turnout from the whole industry, but it was particularly pleasing to see so many Asian inbound specialists attend,” he said.
“Both the Sunshine Coast and Fraser Coast have built a reasonably strong following with the Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong markets, but we believe there is great potential in the Chinese and Korean markets for our region.
“What we heard from the inbound operators is that smaller groups, particularly experienced travelers, have a great interest in quality natural attractions and when you combine that with the sophisticated hotel and dining options of towns like Noosa and Hervey Bay, Australia’s Nature Coast has plenty to offer.
“Our teams have done a lot of work in these markets, and this is the first showcase in Australia where we have specifically targeted Asian inbound operators, and while we don’t expect dramatic growth overnight, we do expect it to be substantial over the longer term.”
The strategy follows insights from Tourism Australia’s international consumer research project which showed that one of Australia’s key strengths is its world class nature. According to the research, 56 per cent of long haul travellers are ‘passionate’ about, and motivated to travel by, nature based activities.
Australia Nature Coast operators are presenting new product at the expos including rainforest interpretative walks with Chinese signage and various land and water activities that allow visitors to experience the region in sustainable, eco-compatible and interactive ways.
For more information about Australia’s Nature Coast visit: www.australiasnaturecoast.com