An eco-lodge and standalone accommodation options have been earmarked for development on the Sunshine Coast after the World Surf League revealed plans to build Australia’s first surfing-based tourism attraction in the region.
The Kelly Slater Surf Ranch, bound for Coolum, is an initiative of the 11-time World Surfing Champion and incorporates wave-generation technology to create a variety of different wave environments for casual, amateur and professional surfers to hone their skills with the benefit of camera and sensor feedback technology.
A broader tourism facility built around the wave training environment would position the centre as a drawcard for tourism with event facilities, accommodation, public spaces and other environmental-themed attractions.
Visit Sunshine Coast CEO, Simon Latchford, said sports tourism was “a wave the region could ride” to boost its economy, particularly in the wake of its involvement with Brisbane and the Gold Coast in formulating an official bid for the 2032 Olympic Games.
“The Sunshine Coast is already well-established as one of Australia’s most popular destinations for water-based events and holidays, but with the Kelly Slater name attached to the surf ranch, it could give our region even greater appeal internationally.
“Having a global name associated with such a high-tech surfing project could really elevate sports tourism to new levels on the Sunshine Coast, attracting international teams, training camps and surfing fans.
“While Visit Sunshine Coast is enthusiastic and excited by the project, we are very mindful it must fit the approval criteria laid down by Sunshine Coast Council and State Government.”