Indian delegates get a taste of the Coast's charisma

LANDING just a handful of Dreamtime business events delegates from India on the beach at an alluring Fraser Island by light plane may see the Sunshine Coast snare a chunk of a multi-million travel market.

And if that isn't enough, a Kombi tour around Noosa before setting them up in a lavish Main Beach open air pavilion with massages, beach cricket, surfing lessons plus local fresh food and drink, could be the clincher.

Tourism Australia and Visit Sunshine Coast with the help of local lifestyle sellers like Sofitel and Beyond Experiences pulled out all stops to beguile eight high-level travel package creators from India.

After they attended the Dreamtime showcase in Brisbane during the week, it was straight to our backyard, where they were well and truly sold on just what a special part of the world this is.

The previous Dreamtime in Adelaide in 2015 resulted in deals worth more than $42 million for Australia and "generated more than 185 media articles that reached more than 25 million people”, according to MP Llew O'Brien.

Samar Choski, of Tourism Australia, said: "We've got eight buyers from different companies who buy into Australian incentive products.

"So we're showcasing what incentive experiences there could be for groups 30 or 40 going up to a couple of hundred. Say, Toyota wants to bring over a group of their dealers who've achieved their targets, they take them to a destination like Australia, spend a week here and take them to different places to have fun, spend money and basically drink and be merry.”

Mr Choski said the aim with the delegates was to "get their creative juices flowing, because these guys organise incentive packages all across the world for their clients”.

"We want to start seeding in new destinations. They've already done Fraser Island - it's a beautiful place and Noosa has just got the lifestyle, it's got the beach.”

Peter David, of Ascon Holidays, said his company did "a lot of numbers (of tourists) out of southern India and we've done a lot of work with Tourism Australia”.

"This trip is all about what the new destinations are and what the new experiences can be for people ... what new things can be done.

"It's an amazing experience, with Fraser Island and the (visit to) the Sunshine Coast, this has been a real eye-opener. This place has got so much to offer, everything's to do with nature ... it's a beautiful place.”

He said they all flew to Fraser and landed on the beach, which just blew them away, as did Lake McKenzie.

"We've had a fantastic experience. I personally feel the Sunshine Coast should send your delegates back to India and do a fantastic job (of selling it).”

Stephen Alam Smith, of Universal Journeys India, said: "We've gotten used to doing all the big cities like Sydney, Melbourne, the Gold Coast - this is off the beaten track's not the regular big city experience.”

Emily Mills, of Beyond Experiences, said there was no limit to what they could offer Indian guests - anything from paddock to plate to luxury four-wheel- drive beach tours or just the Noosa treatment.