10th May 2017
A month since Cyclone Debbie caused widespread damage in the Whitsundays, tourism operators have put rival resort islands around the world on notice, telling holidaymakers to grab their beach towels and leave their passports at home.
While many resorts were forced to close in the wake of the tropical cyclone, all but two are back in business. Although Daydream Island and One&Only Hayman Island will remain closed, the majority of the Whitsundays region is now ready to welcome back visitors.
“It’s time for Bali, Greece, Hawaii and Croatia to move over — the Whitsundays should be everyone’s dream destination this winter!” said Tourism Whitsundays CEO Craig Turner.
With the sun shining once again on the Whitsundays, the whole town is keen for the world to know that tours are back on the water, hotels have opened their doors and they can’t wait to welcome back tourists to the region.
Mr Turner said that this year, visitors to the region can expect a raft of new experiences.
“In the last six months Airlie Beach has opened several new products including the five-star boutique Heart Hotel and a multimillion-dollar renovation to the iconic Club Crocodile. Meanwhile, BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort, which reopened last week, is looking forward to the arrival of eight new cabins and a brand new waterslide park very shortly.”
New Tigerair flights direct into the region is also helping to boost visitor numbers with the latest special from the airline offering flights from Brisbane to the Whitsundays for as low as $33 and just $66 from Sydney for travel between May 18 and June 28. This continues a big push from Tigerair into the Whitsundays are the recent addition of six more weekly return flights from Sydney.
The airline also announced that it will be the official airline partner for Whitsunday SESsions, a Cyclone Debbie recovery concert to be held on May 27. It will also be the Whitsunday Tourism Awards major sponsor in September and the major airline partner of the Airlie Beach Festival of Music in November.
James Spicer from Explore Whitsundays said the support shown by holidaymakers who want to help the town get back on its feet has really boosted morale.
“We want Australia — and the world — to remember that the Whitsundays is a great destination; it’s cheaper than flying overseas and by holidaying here you are helping those in your backyard” he said.