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Conference explores region’s Olympic readiness

Ted O’Brien MP, Margy Osmond from the Tourism & Transport Forum and Andrew Brodie from Sunshine Coast Airport

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Conference explores region’s Olympic readiness

The Sunshine Cost appears to have a great platform for Brisbane 2032.

An array of business and tourism figures converged for a special conference hosted by the Sunshine Coast Business Council (SCBC) at the University of the Sunshine Coast recently to explore how the region can prepare and benefit from the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

As a beloved tourist destination and one of the fastest-growing regions in Australia, the Sunshine Cost appears to have a great platform for Brisbane 2032.

A range of experts explored the area’s readiness for the Games at the conference, dubbed Sunshine Coast Regional Tourism: Preparing for 2032.

SCBC chair Sandy Zubrinich says there is a great deal of expectation of what the Games can do to stimulate economic growth and build capacity for the region.

“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,” she says.

The conference brought together key subject matter experts in the areas of tourism, hospitality services, economic development and infrastructure, including the keynote speaker, Tourism & Transport Forum CEO Margy Osmond.

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

Joining Ms Osmond at the conference was Urbis director Kate Meyrick. Ms Meyrick’s presentation explored how
best to activate a vibrant tourism region.

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

Mr Ryan has a wealth of experience in the tourism industry and holds board positions with Sunshine Coast Airport and the Sunshine Coast Events Board.

“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,” he said. “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 included Tourism and Hospitality Services AustralAsia managing director Rodger Powell, and  Karen Wales from Colliers International, with closing comments by Sunshine Coast Council’s Economic & Community Development Group executive Greg Laverty.

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