The Sunshine Coast has secured the rights to host the Queensland Tourism Awards for the first time with the industry’s star performers and ambassadors to come together at the new Novotel Twin Waters convention centre in 2019.
Mayor Mark Jamieson said securing the awards is a significant coup and has been achieved through the Business Events Assistance Program – a joint initiative of Sunshine Coast Council and Business Events Sunshine Coast, a division of Visit Sunshine Coast.
“Hosting these prestigious awards will be a great opportunity to showcase both our region and our ability to host a premium quality industry event like this one,” said Mayor Mark Jamieson.
“It’s our opportunity to show off the Sunshine Coast in all its glory – all of our amazing tourist attractions, the businesses, the beautiful local produce from across the region and the people within our community.”
“It will also provide a significant economic benefit, given it is anticipated to attract over 1000 visitors to the Sunshine Coast for these awards”.
The announcement comes off the back the Shakespeare Property Group’s $100 million purchase of the Novotel Twin Waters Resort and further $8 million investment into a purpose built convention facility where the awards function will be held.
Visit Sunshine Coast CEO Simon Latchford said securing the state’s premier tourism awards night was another win for the region.
“Working in partnership with Sunshine Coast Council, we are delighted to have secured the rights to host the Queensland Tourism Industry Council’s premier event,” he said.
“With tourism a key economic driver for the Sunshine Coast, it is only fitting the event be held here.
“Our region has undeniably earnt its reputation of being a crowd favourite for leisure and conference visitors.
“Winning the rights to next year’s awards will further boost our tourism industry and maintain the momentum off the back of major business events held in the region, including the Australian Event Awards for the past three years.
“Our future prospects of building our business events market are looking even better with major new hotels in the pipeline, a $6 million upgrade for The Events Centre Caloundra, funding approved for a feasibility study into a dedicated Convention and Exhibition Centre in the new Maroochydore CBD, work underway on the expansion and upgrade of Sunshine Coast Airport and, of course, the development of the Novotel Twin Waters Resort’s new convention facilities – as the host venue of the 2019 awards.
“We are incredibly excited to roll out the red carpet for the tourism industry’s best as we continue to elevate our status as an in-demand tourism and business events destination.”
Tourism, Events and Sport Portfolio Cr Jason O’Pray said the commitment by the Shakespeare Property Group in expanding the event and convention facilities and other enhancements at the Novotel Twin Waters resort was a great show of confidence in the Sunshine Coast and a boost for the region’s tourism sector.
“The Sunshine Coast receives approximately 10 million tourists each year, has 30,000 plus businesses and is one of the fastest growing economies in Australia,” Cr O’Pray said.
“This is the first time the awards will be held on the Sunshine Coast and it wouldn’t be possible without the new convention centre at the Novotel Twin Waters.
“This also supports our new 2018-2027 Major Events Strategy, which includes a focus on bringing major business events linked to our high-value industries to the region.”
Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC) Chief Executive Daniel Gschwind said taking the Queensland Tourism Awards to the Sunshine Coast was a great opportunity to showcase one of the state’s thriving tourism regions.
“Queensland is fortunate to have a multitude of distinctive tourism destinations and QTIC is keen to draw attention to them where possible,” he said.
“The Sunshine Coast will be the centre of Queensland’s tourism world with other major events being held in the region at the same time, truly showcasing what the region as to offer.
“It will also be the first time the Queensland Tourism Awards is held on the Sunshine Coast in its 35-year history – and hopefully not the last.”
Novotel Twin Waters Resort general manager Steve Wellsteed said: “We welcome this incredible vote of confidence from the Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC).
“It will be an absolute pleasure to host this event in our brand new convention centre and deliver a memorable night for Queensland’s top tourism talent and ambassadors.
“The Queensland Tourism Awards present an incredibly exciting opportunity, attracting over 1000 attendees to the region. The perfect opportunity to showcase the potential of our new venue for all of our tourism partners and supporters.”
Mr Wellsteed said the announcement of the start of construction on the new purpose-built convention centre facility had been extremely well received by both the local community and the wider business events industry.
“The resort has already confirmed a number of events for 2019 and beyond and importantly has now attracted interest from events which had previously not considered the Sunshine Coast,” he said.
“In recent years, the Queensland Tourism Awards have only been hosted in Brisbane and the Gold Coast, so this announcement confirms the Sunshine Coast’s ability to host world class events.”
The Queensland Tourism Awards will be held Friday, 8 November 2019.