Jun 08

As one of Australia’s fastest growing regions and recently recognised ‘most loved destination in the world’, is the Sunshine Coast ready for the challenges and opportunities the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games will bring to the region?

This is one of many critical questions to be discussed at the upcoming Sunshine Coast Regional Tourism: Preparing for 2032 conference hosted by the Sunshine Coast Business Council (SCBC) on 17 June.

SCBC Chair Sandy Zubrinich said there was a great deal of expectation resting on what the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games could do to stimulate economic growth and build capacity for the Sunshine Coast.

“As a delivery partner for the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Sunshine Coast has a lot to look forward to and much to plan for to ensure we are making the most of this opportunity to showcase our region to the rest of the world,” Ms Zubrinich said.

“This conference is about bringing more clarity to the opportunity, the need and the challenges of what it will take to build the capacity, capability and quality in tourism and hospitality services across the Sunshine Coast including accommodation offerings, travel, entertainment and recreation.”

“We have sought to bring some of the best minds in tourism capacity building to the region to explore what needs to be achieved and how we can collaborate to maximise this opportunity. This is not only about the big infrastructure questions but also about preparing our small business community about what they can expect and how to prepare.”

The conference, being hosted at the USC Auditorium (at the USC Innovation Centre), will bring together key subject matter experts in the areas of tourism, hospitality services, infrastructure and economic development, including keynote speaker Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF) CEO Margy Osmond.

Ms Osmond’s experience in the Sydney 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games and International World Masters Games will provide a unique perspective into the planning and decision-making processes required for hosting an Olympic scale event.

“I look forward to sharing my experiences regarding the transport and connectivity challenges an event of this scale can bring to a region and particularly how the small business community can plan and benefit in the lead up to the Games,” Ms Osmond said.

“With the Sunshine Coast’s population estimated to grow by nearly three per cent annually over the next 20 years, the seamless delivery and movement of tourists within the region will be key.

Joining Ms Osmond at the conference will be keynote speaker Urbis Director, Kate Meyrick who has proved an enthralling speaker at previous SCBC speaking engagements on the Coast. Ms Meyrick’s presentation will explore how best to activate a vibrant tourism region.

The event will also feature a panel of tourism leaders sharing insights into the region’s tourism infrastructure, capacity, demand and challenges, including Visit Sunshine Coast Chair, David Ryan AO.

Mr Ryan, who has a wealth of experience in the tourism industry as well as holding board positions with Sunshine Coast Airport and the Sunshine Coast Major Events Board, encouraged tourism and hospitality leaders and small business representatives from the region to attend the conference to capitalise on the opportunities the Games would bring.

“The Sunshine Coast has a relatively short window of opportunity to build on our natural strengths and create infrastructure to drive the region’s tourism economy forward,” said Mr Ryan.

“There are crucial infrastructure decisions needed to be made about access, attractions, activities, amenity and accommodation that can both meet the needs of a rapidly growing population and an increasingly competitive tourism market.”

Others on the panel include Tourism and Hospitality Services AustralAsia Managing Director, Rodger Powell and Transaction Services Hotels Colliers National Director, Karen Wales; with closing comments by Sunshine Coast Council’s Economic & Community Development Group Executive, Greg Laverty.

Ms Zubrinich hopes Sunshine Coast business owners will take advantage of the opportunity to hear from the impressive line up of speakers and to be part of the discussion about leaving a positive legacy for tourism in the region for decades to come.

“There is no question that hosting an Olympic Games is a massive coup for the SEQ region and a huge planning task,” she said.

“The decisions we make now have the potential to establish the Sunshine Coast on the global stage as one of Australia’s leading holiday destinations, so we encourage business leaders, and particularly those in the tourism industry to be part of this region-shaping conversation.”

Conference tickets can be purchased through Trybooking at www.trybooking.com/BZKQG with bookings closing at 5pm on Tuesday 14 June 2022.

For more information on the Sunshine Coast Business Council and membership enquiries, visit www.scbusinesscouncil.com.au.

// Ends.

About the Sunshine Coast Business Council

The Sunshine Coast Business Council is the leading regional business advocacy group on the Sunshine Coast. It represents approximately 4,000 businesses through its membership, which includes key national and regional industry groups and their members as well as national and regional businesses.

About Margy Osmond

Margy Osmond is the Chief Executive Officer of the Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF) and has been actively leading and advocating for the visitor economy industries throughout the Covid 19 pandemic. Margy is the co-Chair of the Tourism Group of the Australia New Zealand Leadership Forum and was co-Chair of the Safe Border Group, established to assist both governments to create the original Trans-Tasman ‘bubble’.

In 2004, Margy led the bid on behalf of the NSW Government for the International World Masters Games (IWMG), the largest non-elite sporting event in the world. After the successful bid she then chaired the official Organising Committee for the IWMG, which were held in Sydney in 2009. She also established the Sydney 2000 Olympic Commerce Centre on behalf of the NSW Government and the State Chamber of Commerce, prior to the Sydney Games.

Margy is currently on the boards of TTF, Sydney World Pride 2023 and sits on the Federal Government’s Biosecurity Futures Group and a range of State Treasury groups focused on restarting the wider economy.

Previously, she was Chair of the NSW TAFE Commission Board and Chair of the Australian Sports Foundation, Deputy Chair of Tourism NSW, and served on the Boards of the Australian Sports Commission, Bell Shakespeare, the Retail Employees Superannuation Trust, NSW Major Events, the NSW Police Minister’s Advisory Board and NSW State Transit Authority.

About Kate Meyrick

Kate is a passionate urbanist and place maker with more than 25 years of international experience working throughout Australia, as well as Asia, Europe and the United States. She is globally respected for her expertise in visioning and positioning city scale precincts, working sensitively with stakeholders and the community to co-create powerful new futures for well-loved places. She has been influential in shaping thinking about the global competitiveness of Australian Cities, their future identity and quality of life.

A regular speaker, panellist and conference moderator; Kate is recognised as a thought leader in relation to cityshaping, knowledge and innovation precincts and talent attraction. Kate thrives on collaboration and works effectively in partnership with government, community, non-profit and private sector stakeholders. She has strong experience in conceptualising and delivering complex urban projects: working with a diverse mix of stakeholders to curate a bold and innovative vision for future urban life that will deliver enduring shared value outcomes.

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