BUSINESS Events Sunshine Coast has its sights firmly set on attracting MICE groups from South-east Asia, business events executive Tiffany Beal told TTGmice e-Weekly at the Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE) in Melbourne earlier this week.
“We have very few Asian groups coming to the Sunshine Coast for business events and we’re all wondering why that’s the case when we know they are going to the Gold Coast,” explained Beal.
The last 12 months have seen the organisation conduct market research and participate in various programmes including Tourism Australia’s Nature Coast Roadshow in March, which had nine travel consultants from Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia visit the region over four days.
Beal shared: “I had a ‘light bulb’ moment when an Indonesian PCO told me he’s sending groups to Iceland for four days. If they do that then why can’t they come to the Sunshine Coast?”
During the four-day itinerary, the group participated in a chef-guided food trail, which had been especially designed by Business Events Sunshine Coast and is now in the process of being converted into an official tour by a local operator.
“They love the food and wine experiences,” said Beal. “I’ve had four clients from Singapore sit down at ATE who want something different. They’ve done Sydney, Melbourne and the Gold Coast and…the usual experiences of theme parks and shopping tours. Hands-on experiences in a natural environment are what they’re looking for.”
She added that she and her team will in the coming months construct a database of inbound tour operators – through whom research showed South-east Asian MICE groups book business events – and invite them to the Sunshine Coast, budget permitting.
“We need to give them the right tools and itineraries so they can go back and sell it.”