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New infrastructure and the expansion of Sunshine Coast Airport has strengthened the Sunshine Coast’s reputation as a leading business events destination.

But what continues to set the region apart is the Sunshine Coast’s natural beauty.

This mix of great venues coupled with unforgettable experiences captured the imaginations of Brisbane buyers on Thursday (24 October) when Business Events Sunshine Coast (BESC) held their annual Sunshine Soiree.

The event was staged at the newly opened Bougainvillea House at Howard Smith Wharves and brought Sunshine Coast operators together with Brisbane based corporations to showcase the region’s best conference and incentive products.

In the past 12 months the Sunshine Coast has seen phenomenal growth in the business events space.

Visit Sunshine Coast (VSC) CEO Simon Latchford said this growth was clearly reflected in the latest National Visitor Survey (NVS) results released by Tourism Research Australia for the year end June 2019.

“The Sunshine Coast has experienced a record 43.9 per cent increase in business and business events travel, with a total of 374,000 visitors,” he said.

“This spike in visitor numbers is a credit to the collaborative efforts of BESC, Sunshine Coast Council and VSC in attracting diverse business events to our region.

“These figures are further bolstered by the opening of the $8 million Sunshine Coast Convention Centre and $6 million renovation of The Events Centre Caloundra.

“Going forward we hope to see this upwards trajectory continue as Sunshine Coast Airport opens their international ready runway in 2020, improving the region’s accessibility and opening us up to new domestic and international markets.”

BESC Manager Maureen Brennan said the Sunshine Soiree was the perfect opportunity to target key Brisbane based corporations, sharing what’s new on the Sunshine Coast and inspiring them to choose the region for their next business event or incentive trip.

“As a regional destination the Sunshine Coast offers a unique proposition for delegates to get away from the distractions of the big cities to gather, explore ideas and network,” she said.

“The Sunshine Soiree gives attendees a taste of the Sunshine Coast and takes them on a journey of our region’s venues, conference locations and natural landscape.

“The latest news and product information is incredibly valuable to the attendees and gets them excited about bringing their business into our region.”

Sunshine Coast operators in attendance included The Events Centre Caloundra, InHouse Event Solutions, Sofitel Noosa Pacific Resort, Novotel Sunshine Coast Resort, Mantra Hotels, Best Western PLUS Lake Kawana Hotel, Spicers Retreats, Aussie World, The Dock Mooloolaba, Sunreef Mooloolaba, The Ohana Group – Catering, Maroochy Surf Club, Kangaroo Bus Lines, The Sebel Maroochydore, Kingfisher Bay Resort, Creative Tours and Events, Brouhaha Brewery, Beach Road Holiday Homes and The Sebel Noosa.

Overnight accommodation, cooking school vouchers, venue discounts and immersive experiences on the Sunshine Coast were given away on the day, and each delegate was given a ‘Sunshine Soiree 2019’ guidebook: a motivational tool to inspire Brisbane delegates planning their next business event.

Business Events Sunshine Coast is a division of VSC, whose responsibility is to market the Sunshine Coast as a viable, attractive and sustainable business events destination.