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Business Events Sunshine Coast (BESC) has secured the right to host the Australian Amusement Leisure & Recreation Association (AALARA) Conference at Novotel Twin Waters Resort from 8 – 10 May 2018.

Approximately 250 attendees including global speakers will converge on the region with the agenda of the event to discuss the most important trends affecting the amusement, leisure and recreation industry, with safety and global harmonisation at the forefront.

The program also includes the opportunity for participants to see the new redevelopment at ‘Downunder Drive’ with a dedicated function hosted by Aussie World as well as undertake site visits of local attractions including Australia Zoo, The Ginger Factory and Big Kart Track.

AALARA President Dax Eddy says, “AALARA has an incredibly proud history of providing the best and most up-to-date conference content for our delegates, and this year is no exception, in fact, it will be the biggest and best line up we have seen in our 24-year history.

“With our industry going through a variety of shifts – currently and on the horizon – it is more important than ever that AALARA, as the peak industry body, provides its Members relevant and cutting-edge information to ensure together, we are consistently moving forward.

“Supported by major sponsor, Roller Digital; I’m very much looking forward to welcoming the calibre of ten international speakers at this year’s Conference.

“AALARA is going from strength to strength and it is testament to the quality of our Members.”

Facilitated by BESC in partnership with the Sunshine Coast Council; the AALARA conference has been attracted to the Sunshine Coast with support from the Business Events Assistance Program.

Visit Sunshine Coast CEO Simon Latchford said the AALARA conference win recognises our coming of age in the tourism industry.

“Attractions and recreation is the cornerstone of our tourism industry and to have the best in the country choose the Sunshine Coast for their conference is a testament to the improvement and standard of our offerings as well as our future plans.

“It is not just about simply winning the business but selecting the most appropriate events to raise the region’s profile; both as a place to do business but also as a leisure destination with 40 percent of corporate visitors returning for a holiday.

“Of course, the win has been made possible by the foresight and assistance of Council through the new business events funding program,” added Mr Latchford.

Tourism, Sport and Major Events Portfolio Councillor, Jason O’Pray, welcomed the staging of the AALARA Conference on the Sunshine Coast.

“Hosting this national conference on the Sunshine Coast, provides a great opportunity to profile some of our main tourism and leisure attractions to a key industry group,” Cr O’Pray said.

“The staging of this conference is also another successful outcome of the Business Events Assistance Program, between Sunshine Coast Council and Visit Sunshine Coast, which assists in attracting high yielding national and international business events to the region.”

The Business Events Assistance Program launched in late 2017 has also assisted in securing ‘The Sunshine Coast Conversation on Post-Traumatic Stress 2018’ to be held in August 2018 and the ‘United Nations and Overseas Policing Association of Australia Conference’, October 2019.


AALARA is the peak national body representing the amusement, leisure and recreation industry of Australia. AALARA has particular responsibilities in the areas of safety, operations and management within these industries.

Since 1994, the Australian Amusement, Leisure and Recreation Association Inc (AALARA), has connected industry business owners, operators and professionals within the Australian Amusement, Leisure and Recreation industry. The Association educates and trains its members to achieve standards of excellence and professionalism in business ethics, operations and practices.

The association’s aim is also to promote and safeguard the interests of its members whilst being a relevant source of information on industry trends and statistics in the business of fun.

About Business Events Sunshine Coast (BESC)

BESC is the convention bureau for the Sunshine Coast. It sits as a dedicated unit within Visit Sunshine Coast, the regional tourism organisation for the Sunshine Coast. BESC is a not-for-profit, membership based organisation. Business events are estimated to be worth $40.8 million to the Sunshine Coast region.

About the Business Events Assistance Program

Facilitated by BESC in partnership with the Sunshine Coast Council, the program offers funding support to attract conferences, meetings and exhibitions which raise the profile of the region as a destination for business events.

To be eligible for support, business events must meet the following criteria as a minimum.

Preference will be given for events that target or are aligned with the Regional Economic Development Strategy and associated seven high value industries (Aviation and Aerospace, Clean Technologies, Health and Wellbeing, Education and Research, Tourism, Sport and Leisure, Food and Agribusiness, Knowledge Industries and Professional Services).

1. Events that target a minimum of 200 delegates and conference for a minimum of two days

2. Events that attract a minimum of 75% of delegates from outside the Sunshine Coast region.

3. Events must occur completely within the Sunshine Coast Council area.