The Sunshine Coast Airport will be an international airport within the next 18 months.
The Sunshine Coast Airport will be an international airport within the next 18 months. Contributed

Olympic bid, airport growth game changers for Gympie region

CHINA will overtake the US as the world's biggest economic superpower within the next 10 years and Chinese visitors represent the biggest future tourism potential.

Demographer Bernard Salt joined an impressive line-up of speakers addressing business and tourism leaders on the Coast this week, including a number of Gympie region representatives.

Bernard Salt, Big Ideas Forum, Roma 2019.
Bernard Salt addressed business and tourism leaders from the Sunshine Coast and Gympie region this week. James Liveris

Their message was that planning to capitalise on that potential is vital, and the expansion of the Sunshine Coast Airport and the push to secure the 2032 Olympic Games for southeast Qld are pivotal.

If Brisbane gets the Games the transport infrastructure needed to move crowds around the southeast will be built sooner rather than later, easing the commute between this region and the capital.

This all has enormous implications for tourism and growth here, particularly for projects like the Rattler, the Mary Valley itself and the Cooloola Coast, all jewels in our crown which the Sunshine Coast likes to claim as its own.

Imbil in the Mary Valley.
Imbil in the Mary Valley. Erle Levey

Significant also, is the already strong but still growing appetite for sustainable, environmentally friendly tourism, and Aboriginal culture, something under- acknowledged for far too long.

COLOURED SANDS: The Rainbow Beach coloured sands and dunes, looking south towards Double Island Point
COLOURED SANDS: The Rainbow Beach coloured sands and dunes, looking south towards Double Island Point Arthur Gorrie

Gympie region needs to be ready, but to also find the right balance and preserve the clean, authentic, country lifestyle we cherish. It is our point of difference and greatest asset.