31st May 2018
At this weeks Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ) industry forum, it was the reopening of cyclone-damaged Daydream Island, Hayman Island and Airlie Beach Hotel which was the talk among the regions tourism leaders.
Following twelve months of planning and development, the Palaszczuk government launched a tender program for a new study into the design of a cutting-edge ecotourism experience on Whitsunday Island.
According to Natasha Wheeler, the General Manager of Tourism Whitsundays, Cyclone’s Debbie’s widespread devastation also revealed a number of exciting areas for development and growth across the region.
"It's exciting because for once there's a program that in place that will actually have our industry strive to achieve better in all of the areas that globally people are searching for,” Ms Wheeler said.
"The last twelve months has kind of allowed us to focus on the wider Whitsunday story and what else is out there,” she said.
"It's a really exciting time for us especially domestically and looking at how we can grow that message of the Whitsundays.”
CEO of TEQ Leanne Coddington commented on current collaboration with the Queensland Government who are looking to provide funding to help build tourism and contemporary infrastructure following in-depth community consultations.
With a focus on rebuilding after Cyclone Debbie, a distinct optimism for the future of Whitsundays tourism was palpable among the industry leaders.
Ms Coddington expressed excitement at the growth expected for the devastated businesses who have had to suffer through 12 months of closures.
"What we focused on today is how we really work well together to make sure we attract people to come here,” Ms Coddington said.
"It will be stronger because it will be new product. It will be really good for those that have weathered through the last twelve months, for the new operators coming back in and it will lift everyone in the region.”