Visit Sunshine Coast CEO Simon Latchford questio

first_imgVisit Sunshine Coast CEO, Simon Latchford, questions why isit that other industries can speak with one voice when tourism can’t? “No wonder politicians can take our industry for granted –we don’t speak or act as a united force,” says Simon Latchford. Travel Monitor had a chat with Simon about the industry andwhat his job entails.What does your job involve?I should have changed my name to Mr Sunshine Coast because Ilive, breathe and preach the Sunshine Coast 24/7. Fortunately, it is a tourismregion worth being passionate about!What do you enjoy most about your profession?I think it is much easier selling something that you reallybelieve in. Not everyone knows the Sunshine Coast and many think it is justabout sunshine and coast, but in reality it is far more. In fact, it is aregion with a remarkable range of diverse attractions.What are the biggest challenges for you in your profession?There are umpteen great coastal regions on the east coast ofAustralia, so highlighting that our region is as much about its Hinterland, itsfood, its adventure sports, its trekking and its heritage as it is aboutbeaches is something we really have to work on.What do you think are the biggest challenges the industryfaces?The need to diversify. If Australia is just seen as a ‘flopand drop’ destination, then our appeal will be limited. We have to show we arefar more than sun and surf.What do you think will be the biggest game changer in thetravel industry in the next 12 months’?‘Experience’ travel. People don’t just want to look at, theywant to experience a destination. That could be experiencing a region’s foodvia a cooking class at the Spirit House or Tamarind, they can discover theHinterland through a guided walk, or they can experience the region’s craftbrewing scene through a tour.  Who inspires you most and why?I have to say the Queensland Minister for Tourism KateJones. She is a pocket dynamo and is so passionate about the industry. It is nowonder it is performing so strongly at the moment.  Who would you invite on your next holiday if you couldchoose anyone and where would you go? My wife, Ingrid, naturally, with or without our twin boys,but if I was forced to go by myself, I would like to meet up with WinstonChurchill. He’s inspired me. I’d love to get inside his brain, though given hedied 50 years ago that would be difficult. And if we didn’t meet on One TreeHill on the Sunshine Coast, I’d like to discover Buenos Aires.For more visit www.visitsunshinecoast.comor email [email protected] Simon LatchfordSunshine CoastVisit Sunshine Coastlast_img

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