4th February 2019
Tourism Whitsundays has announced that the region will receive a significant funding boost for upcoming local events such as Airlie Beach Race Week and The Whitsunday Reef Festival.
Thanks to the Queensland Destination Events Program, the Whitsundays region will receive $165,000 in funding to boost the local community.
The Whitsundays Reef Festival is an annual event held in August that celebrates the wonderful Great Barrier Reef and what it means to live in the the Whitsundays - aka "heart of the reef". The four day festival is currently in its 19th year, the festival will receive $15,000 in funding.
Additionally, the Airlie Beach Race week will receive an enormous $150,000 funding grant that will significantly boost the seven day event. Last year, the event raised over $2million for the local economy, so this year is sure to be bigger and better.
Tourism Whitsundays CEO Tash Wheeler is passionate about creating amazing local events that benefit the community long after the event is complete.
“Destination events play a key role in fostering regional tourism and economic growth. Events not only target new markets for visitation, but add to increased length of stay, dispersal and visitor expenditure within the region," she said.
"Currently the tourism industry in the Whitsunday region is the largest employer, accounting for approximately 40% of jobs and is the second-largest contributor to the region’s industry – which events play a key role helping to achieve these figures. We are very pleased with the results of this funding and hope to see more events be successful with the QDEP program throughout the year”.
“We are thrilled with this generous financial boost from the State Government for The Whitsunday Reef Festival and Airlie Beach Race Week, this is the most significant funding boost either of these events have seen. This is money will afford us the ability to significantly boost attendance figures for 2019, driving more people to our beautiful region, which will greatly increase expenditure throughout," Ms Wheeler said.