Visit Sunshine Coast - Chairman Grant Hunt and CEO Simon Ambrose

Since when did the word ‘visit’ become so important to destination marketers? I have no idea but on  learning that Sunshine Coast Destination Ltd has “re-branded” to Visit Sunshine Coast, it triggered a sense of deja vu: hasn’t that been done before?

So I did some digging. The answer is yes – many times. In five minutes on the web I discovered that tourism offices from Canberra to Corsica, Victoria to Valencia have embraced this non-descript but extremely practical noun. They include:

  • Visit Victoria
  • Visit Melbourne
  • Visit Canberra
  • Visit NSW
  • Visit Britain
  • Visit Malta
  • Visit Denmark
  • Visit Las Vegas
  • Visit Corsica
  • Visit Norway
  • Visit Morocco
  • Visit Valencia
  • Visit Sweden

Despite its ubiquity the re-brand is being hailed as a the dawn of a “new era” on the Sunshine Coast, north of Brisbane in Queensland, Australia.

The name change is really just a tweak anyway as the region’s been marketed online as for many years but the re-brand’s importance is far greater than first appears, according to local tourism identities.

“Bringing together the public and operational identities of the organisation is crucial in this digital age,” said Visit Sunshine Coast Chair, Grant Hunt, who believes “this straightforward change will help maximise marketing and promotional efforts.”

In tourism terms the Sunshine Coast appears to be on the rebound after a prolonged flat spell.

There was  a 10.6% increase in international visitors and 2.8% growth in domestic overnights for the year to June 30, while tourism spending grew 3.1%.

Unique website visitors rose 26%, while social media growth was spectacular: Instagram + 371%, Facebook +43% and Twitter +73%.

The question, of course, is will more people visit?

Update; minutes after filing this story the following media release landed:

UK and US increases propel Sunshine Coast’s international visitor growth

‘Bindi factor’ and US dollar to encourage future inbound growth

Sunshine Coast continued its strong international growth, with the latest International Visitor Survey (IVS) statistics showing 4.5% increase in overseas visitors (to 256,000) for the year ending September 2015.

Soft business travel figures were offset by a substantial 7.4% increase in holidaymakers.

Queensland’s IVS statistics grew 6.3% to 2.3 million and holiday visitors were up 5.5% to 1.5 million.

The American market was the star performer in the Q3 IVS Statistics, with 20.9% growth, and with Bindi Irwin providing massive profile for Queensland and the Sunshine Coast in her triumphant Dancing with the Stars performance, there is excellent potential for sustained USA growth in 2016.

The UK market continued its stellar rise, building on its position as the Sunshine Coast’s leading inbound market with 17.3% growth to 59,000 visitors, fractionally ahead of the New Zealand market, which is set for major growth as a result of the start of direct services over summer from Auckland via Air New Zealand.

Continental Europe was up by 3.9%, on the back of strong performances from France, Italy and Scandinavia.


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