Information Centre to re-open
ALMOST three years to the day since the controversial closure of Proserpine’s Tourist Information Centre, Whitsundays Marketing and Development Limited (WMDL) has announced it will re-open a nationally accredited visitor information centre on September 1.
The centre will operate from its previous location on the Bruce Highway next to the Proserpine Museum.
The centre was closed in June 2010, just one week after Whitsunday Regional Council cut $100,000 in funding to the former Tourism Whitsundays. Former mayor Mike Brunker claimed the closure was a political stunt.
This week, current mayor Jennifer Whitney said Council had been working closely with WMDL “to achieve this result through our service level agreement”.
“I think we’re seeing a different style of management through WMD and I’m sure Danial [Rochford] has the confidence that he can get a suitable person to run this organisation and with the assistance of ma- ny volunteers throughout the region we’ll be able to achieve a great result with this centre,” Cr Whitney said.
Chairperson of WMDL’s Tourism Strategic Advisory Group, Jeff Aquilina, said given the importance of the drive market, re-opening the centre was exciting news.
He said re-establishing a visitor information centre was also a deliverable of the recent Airlie Beach Tourism Summit.
WMDL’s CEO Danial Rochford said the organisation would spend about $10,000 over the next two months to get the centre up and running by September 1.
“We will be soon advertising for a full time Visitor Information Centre co-ordinator as well as a team of volunteer tourism ambassadors,” Mr Rochford said.
“We will also be putting in place the necessary paperwork to have the information centre accredited so as to make sure it conforms to national visitor information centre standards [with an italicised ‘I’],” he said.
“WMDL will also be making contact with all tourism and businesses in the Whitsundays in the coming days on how they can access services and benefits of the information centre.”
DELIVERABLE: WMDL Tourism Strategic Advisory Group chairman Jeff Aquilina, and CEO Danial Rochford with Cr's Kevin Collins, Dave Clark, Peter Ramage, John Collins, Jennifer Whitney, Andrew Willcox and Jan Clifford, beside the now defunct visitor information centre, which is due to be resurrected on September 1.