At the Wellington event are Bonnie Lowes, The Ginger Factory; Claire Cooper and Tanisha Steyn, helloworld Featherston Street and Nadine Baumann, Australia Zoo At the Wellington event are Bonnie Lowes, The Ginger Factory; Claire Cooper and Tanisha Steyn, helloworld Featherston Street and Nadine Baumann, Australia Zoo

Aussie, it’s a nice little earner

Think Australia’s a hard sell? Think again, New Zealand.
That was the comment from Sally Holyer, New Zealand country manager of Tourism and Events Queensland, who was at a Sunshine Coast Roadshow event in Auckland this week, along with about 50 retail and business travel agents.
Holyer says 63,000 Kiwis visited the Sunshine Coast in the past year, a 13% growth year on year. The average stay by New Zealanders is nine-and-a-half room nights.

‘For those agents who think Australia is hard to sell, think of those room nights and you’ll be able to make some money out of it. Go back to your office and say it’s worth selling the Sunshine Coast.’
A paddock-to-plate philosophy to food, special events and (of course) direct flights were all on the agenda when Sunshine Coast operators who also visited Wellington and Christchurch this week.
Vynka Hutton of Tourism Noosa says the Noosa Farmers Market is one of the most famous in the region and the Wasabi Cooking School is gaining popularity with visitors. From an events point of view she emphasises the Noosa Wine and Food Festival being held from 19 to 22 May.
Bonnie Lowes, of The Ginger Factory, says the venue’s Ginger Flower & Food Festival is being held from 20 to 22 January. It is the 21st event of its kind and includes cooking demos, garden tours, children’s activities and celebrity chefs.

The Rainbow connection

If agents believe they’ve seen all there is on offer along the Sunshine Coast, they need to head an hour north of Noosa.
Destination Gympie Region’s tourism development manager Andrew Saunders joined the Sunset Coast roadshow this week to drum up publicity for Rainbow Beach. Saunders says the town of around 1000 people is a ‘stop-and-drop’ point for heritage-listed Fraser Island. The main beach is 12km and renowned for its coloured sand.
He says the area is little known by Kiwis – for now. ‘We are relatively new on the scene, but we’re now pushing to be heard.’
Saunders says the area, already a drawcard for German and English travellers, will appeal to self-drive and adventure-seeking Kiwis looking to for new laid-back destination.
He says Rainbow Beach is served by all accommodation types and is rich with marine life.
About 50 retail and business travel agents headed to the Top of the Town at Pullman Auckland for the event mid-October before it went on to Wellington and Christchurch.

 

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