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World discovers what we've known for years - Coast best holiday spot on the planet


The Sunshine Coast has been named as the world’s most desired tourist destination on the Tourism Sentiment Index.

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The new index, which collates more than 2 million pieces of content posted publicly online every day about global destinations, scores a destination’s ability to generate positive word of mouth about its tourism offering. It is an aggregate score that focuses solely on online conversations and content that reference or affect a potential traveller’s perceptions of a destination’s tourism offering.

About 1.8 billion internet conversations and content were tracked to come up with the top 100 list

Things didn’t go as well for the Gold Coast, arguably the most recognised tourist destination in Queensland. The GC came 62nd and was beaten by Bundaberg at 61st, a city better known for run and sugar cane.

But recognition counted for little. Even Cairns was well down the list.

The Sunshine Coast topped the list with a score of 37.9 followed by the Whitsundays in second, Noosa fifth and Cairns ninth. The Scenic Rim (50th) and the Redlands (58th) also beat the Gold Coast.

Visit Sunshine Coast chief executive Matt Stoeckel said the announcement was incredible news given this survey was based on worldwide word-of-mouth sentiment.

“The Tourism Sentiment Index is a measure of a destination’s ability to generate positive word of mouth about its tourism offering, and our number one status reflects how well the Sunshine Coast is delivering on its visitor experience,” Stoeckel said.

“It’s a huge endorsement of the Sunshine Coast as a premium tourist destination.

“With international borders set to open, the fact that the Sunshine Coast resonates so strongly overseas highlights the potential we have to regrow our visitor numbers.

“We have been using the last year to emphasise the Sunshine Coast’s nature-based experiences, along with our food, health and wellness assets, and this survey shows that our messages have really struck a chord with potential travellers.”

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