The Mackay mar­ket is big business for Whit­sun­days

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

IT WAS a good year for tourism in the Whit­sun­days and it could be get­ting bet­ter ac­cord­ing to a re­gional snap­shot re­port by Tourism and Events Queens­land.

Tourism data con­tained within the re­port has shown more vis­i­tors are com­ing to the Whit­sun­days, and most of them are spend­ing more money.

Nearly half of all vis­i­tors to the Whit­sun­days are Queens­lan­ders with many com­ing just up the Bruce High­way from Mackay.

Ac­cord­ing to the re­port, Mackay is one of the top mar­kets for Whit­sun­day tourists, along with Bris­bane and Townsville.

UK tourists, the Whit­sun­day's big­gest in­ter­na­tional source mar­ket, dropped 10 per cent, which was off­set by growth in mar­kets such as France and the Nether­lands.

CEO of Whit­sun­days Mar­ket­ing and De­vel­op­ment Limited (WMDL), Da­nial Rochford, said there was a sense of con­fi­dence among tourism op­er­a­tors.

"There is cer­tainly a stronger feel­ing at the mo­ment that the fu­ture looks bright," he said.

"The majority of tourism op­er­a­tors you talk to now feel like next year will again be a bet­ter year."

Mr Rochford said more flights com­ing to the Whit­sun­days would con­tinue to in­crease tourism in the re­gion.

He said th­ese in­cluded Qan­tas flights into the Great Bar­rier Reef Air­port on Hamil­ton Is­land and Tiger Air­ways flights into Proser­pine.

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