May 31, 2022 | By Bronwen Largier

The Sunshine Coast has welcomed its first internationally branded hotel in some time, with the opening of Holiday Inn Express & Suites Sunshine Coast yesterday, which also marks the entry of the brand into the Australian market.

A partnership between IHG Hotels and Resorts and Pro-invest Hotels, the property features 181 rooms, including 41 suites and two meeting rooms.

“As travel around Australia resumes, people have been flocking to Queensland and rediscovering the region, in particular the Sunshine Coast,” said Pro-invest Hotels’ chief operating officer Shantha de Silva.

“Having this brand new hotel in the heart of Maroochydore which is a central hub for the region, is going to be of great benefit and convenience to the community and we look forward to working with them and with industry, in driving further visitation to the area.”

While the new opening is not necessarily an immediate game-changer for the hardcore business events market in and of itself, given its relatively small meeting capacity – under 100m2 – and its target traveller, Visit Sunshine Coast’s CEO Matt Stoeckel hopes this investment into the Sunshine Coast market might prompt other new internationally-branded hotel developments.

“That’s [the] first significant hotel in some time on the Coast and we’re really confident that its success will lead to more developments in accommodation across the Sunshine Coast to help us really cater for that increased demand that we’re seeing across the destination,” said Stoeckel.

Earlier this year, the Sunshine Coast topped the world as the most loved traveller destination in a global Tourism Sentiment Index.