Sunshine Coast Tourism is working hard to support the sustainable development of the tourism industry on the Sunshine Coast in alignment with the values of our residents. The tourism industry on the Sunshine Coast has experienced a lot of change in the last few years, and we are listening and engaging with residents on an ongoing basis to make sure we are moving in the right direction. In spring 2022, we hosted a series of conversations with residents who live on the Sunshine Coast. The input from these sessions is informing our future plans, actions and activities. We plan to host additional conversations on an annual basis, and we are always open to learn and listen from the community.
What we’ve been doing
The small and dedicated Sunshine Coast Tourism team works to responsibly grow awareness of the Sunshine Coast—from Langdale to Lund and places nearby—through inspiring and engaging marketing that brings responsible visitors to local businesses and communities when they need it. We also support travellers with a network of visitor centres and work with all levels of government to advocate for and support sustainable tourism and infrastructure projects that enhance the communities and the Sunshine Coast experience for all—including residents.
The mission of Sunshine Coast Tourism has long been to build a strong tourism economy on the Sunshine Coast consistent with the values of its residents. The core values of Sunshine Coast Tourism were created with residents in mind:
- A sense of curiosity – intellectually and emotionally.
- Respect for all – a desire for all to co-exist here.
- A love for where we work and play.
- Respect for the land and its history – ecologically conscious and strive toward sustainability.
The COVID-19 pandemic has presented many challenges along the way, and we learned some valuable lessons. We have been reminded daily of what is truly important. The health, safety and longevity of the ecosystem, our communities, families and friends must always come first.
Where we’re going
After years of successful marketing campaigns that were carefully crafted to align with the values of residents, COVID-19 has suddenly led to the travellers in our province becoming much more aware of the Sunshine Coast. With many other complex factors at play that are contributing to an upswing in visitor growth, we want to begin a collective discussion about where we as residents would like to see tourism go.
We understand that not everyone is familiar with how the tourism industry contributes positively to the local lifestyle and economy. This includes employment, economic diversification, cultural preservation, and environmental protection.
- Tourism is historically the largest employer of youth in BC – more than 30%. (Source: Destination BC)
- About 22% of restaurant revenues in BC come from travellers who help keep your favourites dining spots open, and probably more in some of our communities on the Coast. (Source: BC Statistics)
- Tourism increases awareness and appreciation of Indigenous culture and heritage. (Source: Indigneous Tourism BC)
- Things we enjoy would not be as viable without the tourism engine: museums, galleries, events, transportation, trails, marinas and more. (Source: Destination BC)
We are also aware that tourism can cause challenges for those who call a destination their home. This can include busier ferries, longer waits at restaurants, and harm to our ecosystems.
- We’ve heard concerns expressed about too many people coming in the summer and not enough in the rest of the year, too little investment in infrastructure, community traffic bottlenecks, affordable housing, garbage and illegal fires.