Tourism Industry Supports Yaroomba Beach Resort Development
The Sunshine Coast had a “once in 30 years” opportunity to elevate the region’s tourism accommodation infrastructure by attracting a new 5-star internationally branded resort to the Coast, according to the Sunshine Coast’s leading tourism body, Visit Sunshine Coast.
In a letter to Sunshine Coast Council supporting the Yaroomba Beach resort development, CEO of the region’s leading tourism body, Visit Sunshine Coast, Mr Simon Latchford, said The Westin would fill a critical need for new high-quality accommodation and convention facilities on the Sunshine Coast, which in turn would generate substantial income and jobs for the whole of the Sunshine Coast.
The centre-piece of the Yaroomba Beach master planned tourism and residential development will be The Westin Coolum Resort & Spa, the first 5 Star resort to be developed on the Sunshine Coast in 30 years.
Yaroomba Beach Project Director, Evan Aldridge, said the letter highlighted the positive community benefits that would result from attracting one of the world’s largest hotel groups and most renowned brand names to the Sunshine Coast – especially in the light of the closure of the former Hyatt Coolum.
In his letter, Mr Latchford said the Coast needed to act to capitalize on the $319 million expansion of Sunshine Coast Airport.
“Recent initiatives giving the go-ahead for an upgraded airport with significantly increased capacity, and the Federal Budget approval of a major upgrade to the Bruce Highway will provide outstanding opportunities for the Sunshine Coast region to continue growing its visitor economy in the long term, he said.
“There has not been a new full service upscale hotel built on the Sunshine Coast for over 30 years.
“There are proposals for new 5-star accommodation in Mooloolaba, but the most critical requirement for the Sunshine Coast’s tourism and economic future is a 5-star resort style integrated hotel featuring major conference facilities,” he said.
Mr Latchford said the Sunshine Coast needed high quality resorts for high-yield group business from Asian markets such as Singapore, Malaysia, India and Hong Kong.
“These markets have access to high quality resorts and hotels across the Asia Pacific, and currently, the standard and nature of much of the accommodation on the Sunshine Coast would not be suitable for attracting this market.
“Without new accommodation input, it will be difficult for the Sunshine Coast to meet projected 2020 visitor growth targets.”
Mr Latchford said the effective closure of the Hyatt Coolum/Palmer Resort had a profound impact on the Sunshine Coast tourism economy, with the convention and incentives market significantly reduced over the past four years, saying a substantial proportion of the business previously accommodated at Hyatt Coolum had been lost entirely to the region.
Mr Aldridge said The Westin Coolum Resort & Spa at Yaroomba Beach would attract 90,000 new visitor nights to the Sunshine Coast, and inject $39 million in new tourism spending annually.
Yaroomba Beach will contribute $120 million to the Sunshine Coast regional economy every year.
“Up to 360 of the new jobs will be created at Yaroomba Beach, and 260 of these will be at the Westin,” he said.
“Overall, 1400 new direct and indirect jobs will be created across the community – in the farms at the start of the paddock to plate chain, in shops, cafes and restaurants and other tourism and service businesses.
“That is on top of an average of 400 construction jobs a year for Sunshine Coast tradies.”
Mr Aldridge said the residential population living at Yaroomba Beach will increase business at local shopping centres.
“When the residential component of Yaroomba beach is completed in 2029, it will be home to 1,500 residents, and their spending will increase business by 20% at Coolum and Coolum Beach.”