Team Scotland to train UK eyes on the Sunshine Coast
THE decision of Commonwealth Games Scotland to base its team on the Sunshine Coast in the lead-up to the 2018 Games puts our region in front of world, tourist operators say.
The announcement means we'll now have Scotland, Isle of Man and the Wales teams training on the Sunshine Coast, focusing the attention of the Celtic nations on our region.
The amount of media attention this will bring has the staff at Novotel Twin Waters, where Team Scotland will stay, "extremely excited", spokeswoman Kristy Schofield said.
"This will have a positive impact on tourism, social media, local businesses both before and after the games," Ms Schofield said.
"With the great weather we have had during their recent stay, hopefully this will entice more Scots over here to the beautiful Sunshine Coast."
Up to 300 athletes and support staff from Team Scotland will call the Sunshine Coast home in the lead-up to the 2018 Games on the Gold Coast.
Team Scotland Chef de Mission Jon Doig said the Sunshine Coast - specifically Twin Waters - would provide "the ideal home away from home" for the athletes as they adjust to the travel, climate, culture and the unique multi-sport environment of the Commonwealth Games.
"Some sports will come out requiring full training facilities, while others will be looking for rest and relaxation ahead of competition, so it's about different things for different sports," he said.
"However, our priority is enabling them all to come through and acclimatise for the Games that will be held in a warm Australian autumn when we are coming from a cold Scottish winter."
Ms Schofield said the Scots departed from Twin Waters yesterday afternoon after making their announcement.
A delegation of decision-makers would return to Novotel in May next year, with athletes arriving three weeks ahead of the April 2018 games.
Extra publicity from the Scots' presence would boost an already growing number of visitors from the United Kingdom, Visit Sunshine Coast CEO Simon Latchford said.
"Whilst the UK has some beautiful countries, their winters are infamous - so you can understand why the Sunshine Coast is a very attractive place to not only Europe but the UK in particular," Mr Latchford said.
"We just have this cracker climate. It's not too hot and not too cold."
He said the weather and clean environment were things locals took for granted.
"Our waters are clear...I mean that in itself is worth a lot to people.
"And of course the friendly environment. People are helpful, friendly and there's not that many of us."
Mayor Mark Jamieson said Sunshine Coast Council was exploring ways to "maximise exposure" to the Coast with the Scottish team's visit.
"This is a tremendous honour for our region because Commonwealth Games associations have an enormous amount riding on the decisions they make for their athletes, so a lot of time and resources go towards finding the best possible locations to base their athletes before such an important event as the Commonwealth Games," Cr Jamieson said.
"So for Scotland to choose to come here, like Wales and the Isle of Man, is a fantastic show of faith for the Sunshine Coast."