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Training and workshops

With a large tourism industry and the predominance of small enterprises on the Sunshine Coast, Visit Sunshine Coast (VSC) understands the need to assist the industry in the development of their individual business.

Industry forecasts indicate by the year 2030 tourism will be the largest global industry, further supporting the need for education and training and to proactively meet the diverse demands of this growth into the future.

VSC offers training workshops and programs, often in conjunction with bodies such as Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ) and Queensland Tourism Industry COuncil (QTIC). The programs are designed to assist operators in acquiring the skills and knowledge required for businesses to prosper. The workshops are heavily subsidised by VSC and are often free for members to attend. 

Industry events and workshops are a benefit of VSC membership allowing our members to gain valuable insights from Visit Sunshine Coast staff, special guest speakers and industry experts. Download your copy of the VSC Industry Events Calendar for 2017.

Workshops coming up in 2017

Sunshine Coast Digital Marketing Excellence

We’re working on another exciting project to support our members to be more competitive in the online space as we know our customers are increasingly using technology to search, book, review and recommend their travel choices.

  • 90% of people use the internet to search for their holiday inspiration and do their planning, but over 60% of them haven't yet committed to the destination so there is huge opportunity to share our Sunshine Coast story and influence their decisions
  • 65% of people will put an experience or destination on their bucket list based on the recommendations of their friends and family and 92% of people trust peer reviews over advertising
  • mobile and social are huge drivers of change in the way people are making their holiday choices and how they're booking their holidays, but unfortunately a lot of tourism businesses are challenged to adapt their marketing practices to keep up with how customers are using technology

As part of this year's digital capability building we are offering a series of training workshopsn for the Sunshine Coast region. We are working with digital strategy and training specialists, Tourism Tribe.  Tourism Tribe was founded by Liz Ward (digital strategist and ex ATDW CEO) and Fabienne Wintle (Australia’s top digital coach), so they’re on top of their game.

Participating in this training will help you get on top of your game as well!

Following are details about the workshops.  

Sunshine Coast digital marketing excellence workshops

How this training program will help your business

You’ll be punching the air after these workshops because you will be empowered with new knowledge and focus to take your online distribution and digital marketing to a new level of success and to make digital work more efficiently in your business.  You’ll walk away with the beginnings of your digital marketing strategy and an online digital action plan that your team can collaborate on ensuring that your knowledge and enthusiasm can be easily translated into action when you return to your business.

Digital Marketing Excellence Workshops

Workshop 1: Distribution Strategies to Grow ProfitWednesday 24th May 9am – 4pm  (Delivered)

Gain a renewed understanding of how to grow your business by selecting and optimising the best channels that your most profitable customers favour.  This includes tips on how to work with the distribution system and how to improve your own website to be a high performing direct channel.


  • Working with partners – the benefits and costs
  • Introduction to the distribution system
  • Developing a distribution strategy
  • Pricing and yield for profitability
  • Contracting know-how
  • Developing strong commercial partnerships
  • How to select the best booking technology for your business
  • Your website as a channel and strategies to drive direct business

Workshop 2: Content Marketing to Attract and Convert More Customers
Wednesday 7th June 9:00am – 12:30pm

Develop a clear definition of your target customer and brainstorm the types of content and channels that are going to get you the most cut-through with your target market.  You’ll learn the value of blogging and how to use different forms of content to tell your story about the unique experiences and excellent service you can offer travellers to the Sunshine Coast region.


  • What is content marketing, what’s trending and how to make it work for your business
  • Search engine optimisation explained
  • Creating content to drive search results for your business
  • Linking your digital marketing activities to your business goals
  • Identifying your target markets and their needs
  • Getting organised with content

Workshop 3: Social Media for Better BusinessWednesday 21st June 9:00am – 12:30pm

Gain an understanding of the role and importance of social media for your business and learn how to set up and manage relevant social media platforms, optimise your efforts and how to measure your success.


  • How to get benefit from social media for your business
  • Content marketing – the key to social media success
  • Online reputation – what your customers are saying about you and how to turn that into a positive for your business
  • Facebook for Business - essential knowledge to use the world’s biggest social media platform effectively
  • How businesses are using Instagram and Snapchat

What do you pay and what’s included

What do you pay?  As a Visit Sunshine Coast member these workshops form part of your benefts and there is no cost to you.

Non members are more than welcome to attend however there is a fee as follows.

Full day workshop - $40.00 per personEach half day workshop - $25.00 per personIf you attend all three workshops - $70.00 per person

A valuable inclusion for all attendees in a complimentary 12-month subscription to the innovative online learning website,  This is valued at $119.

Tourism Tribe is an online learning and support community that Digital Coaching International has established to help tourism operators get on top of all the opportunities that digital presents.

What to bring

Bring a laptop or tablet that connects to the internet so you can fully participate in the workshops and maximise the benefits to your business.  Don’t forget your power cord.

All information and registration can be found here.

Workshops delivered in 2017

Tourism Events Bootcamp

Visit Sunshine Coast, SCENE (Sunshine Coast Events Network) and DR Tourism proudly present a 'Tourism Events Bootcamp'.  Join the morning session to learn the skills behind staging and promoting a successful event.  This session will provide crucial information from industry leaders and you'll learn how to facilitate the perfect event whilst working with the community and industry groups. An exciting line up of guest speakers will share their knowledge and experience.

The afternoon session offers tourism operators and event organisers the opportunity to learn how to create packages surrounding events.  Topics include  pricing, distribution, promotion and commission. Attendees will have the opportunity to work with fellow tourism and event operators to  create packages surrounding upcoming events.

Delivered: 10th May 2017
All information and registration can be found here

Working with cruises

The Sunshine Coast had 8 cruises stop in 2016 with another 10 set to hit our shores this year. Each stopover generates around $250,000 in spending and flow-on expenditure in the local Sunshine Coast economy. The day tourists are brought to shore at Mooloolaba by boats, where they choose between organised tours, tourist ventures or just spending the day at Mooloolaba.

Toby Biddick (Manager Shore Excursions & Land Programs) and Jeff Barnard (Senior Cruise Account Manager) from Abercrombie and Kent Australia presented an informative afternoon on how you can get involved. Download a copy of the presentation.

ATEC Kite International Ready Program

KITE stands for the ‘Know-How for Inbound Tourism Excellence’ program, and aims to develop the skills and knowledge of the wider tourism industry to ensure capability can fuel the capacity needed in an ever-growing international marketplace. KITE has been developed with the full support of Tourism Australia, and is a result of collaborative participation from all State and Territory Tourism Offices - a first truly national collaboration of this nature.

Day 1 was delivered on Tuesday 14 February.

Day 2 was delivered on Tuesday 21 March
Market specific modules - Malaysia and Singapore

Day 3 - was delivered on Wednesday 22 March
Market specific module - China

Google Analytics and SEO

Visit Sunshine Coast in partnership with Digital Marketing Solutions (DMS) and SCENE (Sunshine Coast Events Network) will be holding a special workshop to help you discover how Google Analytics and Search Engine Optimisation could work for your website.

Digital Marketing Solutions (DMS) understand that for many regional business owners digital can be overwhelming.  There’s so much to consider: different channels, the performance of each platform, your overall goals, understanding the results which have been driven by your activity and improving on them.  Whilst there’s a plethora of tools available, understanding your Google Analytics account is key to ensuring your marketing and your website are performing.  At DMS our training focus is to make digital easier to understand, so you can leave one of our events or meetings and action a positive change immediately.  From time to time DMS also partner with industry experts who have a like-minded approach to training.  Our upcomingGoogle Analytics Basic course utilises one of our favourite partners Simon Dell.  Simon is a digital marketing consultant who works with clients of all shapes and sizes - from $100million Care Home providers, to importers of circular saws, to franchised skin care businesses. He's an ex-agency owner, writer & blogger, and guest speaker who has been helping companies with their digital for the past eight years.  Simon is an engaging speaker with a wealth of knowledge and practical advice to share with SMEs.  

The Workshop covers the following in regards to your website performance:
a. Understanding the basics – setting up, reading results, what it means to me, patterns to look for 
b. Using Google Analytics to set goals 
c. What are the top 5 things to review if you’re in a hurry – Google Analytics App 
d. What you should consider a red flag 
e. Linking it to your other activity

Tourism Award Ready and Accreditation

Visit Sunshine Coast would like to invite those members considering entering the 2017 Sunshine Coast Business & Tourism Awards and/or the Queensland Tourism Awards to attend a free workshop on key processes and hints and tips on writing an award-winning submission.

This session will also cover accreditation for the tourism industry. Businesses endorsed by tourism accreditation programs benefit from increased credibility, visibility and competitiveness. Accreditation programs help you focus on aspects of your business that provides resilience through leaner times, exploit better periods and further develop consistency of quality.

The workshop was hosted by Mark Greaves from Visit Queensland, a well sought after awards writer and previous state judge. Download a copy of the presentation.

Please click on thje following for further information for regional and state awards.

Sunshine Coast Business Awards

Queensland Tourism Awards

If you would like more information about any of the workshops delivered so far in 2017 please contact Susan Maynard on


VSC is partnered with Bookeasy, the leading destination management software solution for tourism centres across Australia. Bookeasy is used to make real-time bookings for visitors to our website.

  • VSC is offering a low commission for any bookings generated - just 10%.
  • All booking commissions will be reinvested directly back into the Sunshine Coast region.
  • You will benefit from real-time online bookings. 
  • Distribute your inventory to a network of over 170 booking centres throughout Australia.
  • You will receive all guest information so you can manage the booking.
  • VSC and Bookeasy will offer the following free workshops to assist your business.


Training and education

Many schools offer tourism and hospitality training and education on the Sunshine Coast. Some of these courses can be found at the following institutions:

University of the Sunshine Coast

Sunshine Coast TAFE

Regional schools

General resources

The links below provide relevant resources and up to date information that can be used to assist tourism businesses.

For further information contact

Arew Fairbairn

Phone: 61 (0) 7 5458 8800

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