Na­tional assem­bly pro­motes tourism

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

FOR the first time in his­tory Skal Whit­sun­days hosted the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s In­ter­na­tional Tourism Assem­bly - here in the Whit­sun­days on the week­end.

Aus­tralia’s lead­ers in the tourism in­dus­try gath­ered with travel agents, tour whole­salers, air­line and ho­tel chain ex­ec­u­tives, tour and trans­port op­er­a­tors for the two-day event which was opened by a wel­come party at the newly ren­o­vated Capers on Fri­day night.

Ev­ery year, del­e­gates and mem­bers meet in one lo­ca­tion to dis­cuss the is­sues within the in- dus­try, to net­work and ex­pe­ri­ence the re­gion in which the assem­bly is held.

Skal Whit­sun­days sec­re­tary Carolyn Up­ton said the aim was to send all mem­bers home ab­so­lutely gob smacked at how beau­ti­ful the Whit­sun­day re­gion was.

“We have had such bril­liant feed­back and lots of it,” she said.

“Some mem­bers and del­e­gates ex­tended their stay and many more have re­quested the names and con­tact in­for­ma­tion of our lo­cal tourism op­er­a­tors, char­ters and ho­tels for trips in the fu­ture.”

The na­tional assem­bly, which was only open to Skal mem­bers, was held at the Air­lie Beach Ho­tel on Satur­day, fol­lowed by a spec­tac­u­lar three-course gala din­ner at Day­dream Is­land.

Whit­sun­day Re­gional Coun­cil mayor Jen­nifer Whit­ney said Air­lie Beach was “grow­ing up”.

“Our lo­cal Skal mem­bers have played a vi­tal role in the Air­lie Beach – Heart of the Reef cam­paign, which has been very suc­cess­ful in re­vi­tal­is­ing the lo­cal tourism in­dus­try when we needed it most,” she said.

“Coun­cil takes tourism se- ri­ously and we’re com­mit­ted to help­ing out lo­cal tourism op­er­a­tors build our in­dus­try fur­ther and con­tinue to be a world-class tourist des­ti­na­tion.”

Mrs Up­ton and her hus­band Peter will rep­re­sent Skal Whit­sun­days at the World Congress to be held in New York from Septem­ber 28 to Oc­to­ber 5.

SKAL is an in­ter­na­tional tourism or­gan­i­saion.

The word Skal is Scan­di­na­vian mean­ing a toast of friend­ship and good­will that may be of­fered when drink­ing, sit­ting down to eat, or at a for­mal event.

TOURISM MEET: Skal Whit­sun­days pres­i­dent Peter Up­ton, Skal In­ter­na­tional Aus­tralia pres­i­dent Rus­sell But­ler, Whit­sun­day Re­gional Coun­cil mayor Jen­nifer Whit­ney, Skal Whit­sun­days sec­re­tary Carolyn Up­ton and Whit­sun­day Mar­ket­ing and De­vel­op­ment CEO Da­nial Rochford gath­ered to dis­cuss is­sues af­fect­ing the tourism in­dus­try on the week­end.

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