To celebrate Tourism Australia’s Coastal and Aquatic campaign, Visit Sunshine Coast staged an Australian first by hosting five Aquameets with high profile social influencers across the Sunshine Coast region.
Influencers included Caz & Craig Makepeace (@ytravelblog), Matthew Vandeputte-Matjoez (@matjoez), Mark Fitzpatrick (@_markfitz), Jaharn Giles (Mr Weekender) and Rod Toschini (@snapair).
Sunrise and sunset Aquameets were held at Maroochydore, Caloundra, Noosa, Maleny and Rainbow Beach attracting both local photographers and some of Australia’s leading instagrammers, with a combined following of over 392,000 people.
Simon Ambrose, CEO of Visit Sunshine Coast, believes that it was fitting for Sunshine Coast to debut the Aquameets as the region is one of Australia’s most recognised and dramatic coastal destinations.
“We are delighted to be the first Australian region to hold five Aquameets across one region in a day to showcase the beauty of our coastal and inland waterways,” said Mr Ambrose.
“The Sunshine Coast offers a remarkable range of water activities – everything from swimming with humpback whales, kayaking amongst dugongs in the Pumicestone Passage and world-class surfing to swimming under waterfalls in the Hinterland.
“The destinations look spectacular in photography, and photos are an increasingly significant part of travel marketing, with Instagram attracting over five million monthly Australian users, and growth of over 32% in the past 12 months.
“By capturing specific images of the region that promote aquatic tourism and working with well-known influencers, we can grow our social reach through accessing additional followers of the photographer. This type of advocacy is incredibly valuable to us and is an increasingly important and cost effective part of our overall destination marketing strategy.”
Caz and Craig Makepeace, founders of yTravelBlog.com, said the Sunshine Coast was an ideal destination for spectacular photography.
“We’ve experienced many beaches in Australia. and the Sunshine Coast has a lot of great ones, but being able to experience very different aquatic experiences on this visit has made it even more special,” they said.
“Starting the day watching the sunrise on a stand-up paddle board on the Pumistone Passage was serene and magical, and then we were able to experience waterfalls and swimming holes hidden in the middle of lush rainforests in the Hinterland. It provided great material for photography.”
Instagrammer Matthew Vandeputte agreed: “I live in Sydney and this is my third visit to the Sunshine Coast in four months. The aquatic landscapes are some of the best I’ve seen. I shot the Glass House Mountains and you could capture the ocean in the distance. We experienced an incredible sunrise overlooking Mudjimba Island, and then drove along the ‘beach highway’ to Rainbow Beach for a horse ride It’s just such a diverse and rich destination.”
In addition to sharing content created by others, Visit Sunshine Coast is also working with Tourism and Events Queensland (254,000 followers) and Tourism Australia as the largest destination brand in the world (2.2 million followers) to tap into their massive Instagram audiences and gain additional exposure for Visit Sunshine Coast (31,000 followers).