Chair of Tourism Sunshine Coast, John Atkin, has dismissed rumours that there has been a decision to close the Sunshine Coast Convention Bureau (SCCB) responding to MICE-industry reports that the future of the Bureau and the Sunshine Coast’s ability to manage business events leads could be in jeopardy.
The rumours developed after the Sunshine Coast Regional Council last week adopted the recommendations of the Tourism Transition Advisory Board (TTAB) for the creation of a new destination management organisation for the region. Tourism Sunshine Coast, which currently manages the Sunshine Coast Convention Bureau, will be wound up when the new organisation comes into existence.
Atkin said that the Tourism Transition Plan adopted by Council mentioned business events in a number of contexts, but the specifics of how the work of the Bureau would continue has not been detailed at this stage.
“All stakeholders, including the Council, TTAB, SCCB, venues and business events companies, are committed to ensuring that the Sunshine Coast continues to thrive by attracting the conference and incentive market. Tourism Sunshine Coast and industry leaders are working with Council to ensure an appropriate outcome,” he said.
Business events injected almost $38 million to the Sunshine Coast economy during 2008/2009. With two new five-star venues with conferencing facilities to open within the next 12 months, confidence in what the Sunshine Coast can offer business events organisers is high.
“So all stakeholders are aware of the achievements of the SCCB, the importance of business events to the region, and the importance of having business events specialists working to secure meetings and events for our region,” Atkin said.
A Business Events Advisory Panel was formed in the latter half of 2009 and is continuing to advise the SCCB on the strategic direction of business events and the Sunshine Coast Convention Bureau. The success of the panel rests on its expansive representation, with members coming from all areas of the business events sector, including accommodation properties, off-site venues, event managers, and suppliers.
Atkin said that a submission is sitting with the Queensland Government for the next round of business events funding – another demonstration of the region’s commitment to continuing the good work.