It's the region's biggest-ever community driven tourism campaign.
Visit Sunshine Coast (VSC) has launched its biggest-ever community driven tourism campaign in response to the loss of the traditionally-strong Victorian winter market, by calling on locals to invite their family and friends to “plug the hole” and save tourism businesses and jobs.
Victoria supplies over 10% of the Sunshine Coast’s total visitation, and an even higher percentage over winter, and with that market closed, Visit Sunshine Coast decided it needed ‘people-power’ to make up the shortfall.
The ‘Live. Love. Share. Love where you live. Share where you love!’ campaign aims to encourage local Sunny Coasters to pick up the phone, message or email their friends and family from across Queensland and interstate and invite them to the Sunshine Coast.
The campaign also enables locals to use the Visit Sunshine Coast website to send digital ‘wish you were here’ postcards that show off their favourite part of the region as further incentive to attract visitors.
Those who invite their friends or family through the VSC website will go in the running to win one of 20 prizes to bring their loved ones to the Sunshine Coast for a holiday.
VSC chair David Ryan said that with times so difficult and challenging that a more personalised approach would resonate far more strongly with potential travellers.
“The campaign plays on the idea that word-of-mouth is still one of the most effective forms of marketing,” Ryan says.
“What better endorsement for the Sunshine Coast region than locals themselves sharing with their friends and family what they most love about living here?
“The region’s tourism industry has done it incredibly tough over the past three months, and this is a way for locals to show their support as we move towards recovery.
“Most Sunshine Coast residents have moved here over the past decades, so the majority still have close links with other locations within Queensland and interstate, and what better place to escape to over winter?
“The Queensland Premier deserves strong praise for the handling of the border issue because while Sunshine Coast tourism businesses have experienced their worst quarter on record, public health and safety must always be the priority.
“However, we can’t underestimate the loss of the Victorian market, which is traditionally very strong over winter, but with innovative campaigns such as Live Love Share we can support the industry until markets return to a closer ‘normality’.”
To drive and amplify the community message, popular Sunshine Coast radio station 92.7 Mix FM is offering prize giveaways and featuring endorsements on air from local identities sharing their love for the Sunshine Coast.
EON Broadcasters and 92.7 Mix FM CEO John Williams says Mix FM is proud to support the Live. Love. Share campaign.
“We are reminding all locals that we can all share in growing business on the Sunshine Coast and keep locals employed by inviting friends and family to enjoy our great beaches and holiday lifestyle,” Williams says.
Local tourism operators are involved in the campaign through the prize giveaway, with each prize including two nights’ accommodation, a dining voucher and tourism experience.
"There are countless reasons to visit the Sunshine Coast and it should be on everyone’s bucket list," Accor regional general manager – Northern Qld, NT and NZ Winston Hall says.
“Visitors will discover a stunning coastline, and a region rich in nature walks, restaurants and culture. Our teams look forward to giving everyone a warm welcome.”
VSC has created ten different postcards – one for each region of the Sunshine Coast - which can be emailed or shared via social media from the VSC website using the hashtag #sharesunshinecoast.