From the ed­i­tor's desk

Whitsunday Times - - WHITSUNDAY VIEWS -

THIS glo­ri­ous weather is cer­tainly be­ing wel­comed by lo­cals and tourists – and it’s great to re­port that lo­cal ac­com­mo­da­tion providers are hav­ing a bumper school hol­i­day pe­riod.

The school hol­i­days ended this week but the town cer­tainly still seems to be busy.

Some Air­lie Beach op­er­a­tors are re­port­ing more than 90 per cent oc­cu­pancy over the hol­i­days and Hamil­ton Is­land is re­port­ing its high­est oc­cu­pancy year on year.

A spokesper­son for Hamil­ton Is­land said the re­turn of Qan­tas to the re­gion had helped.

There is no doubt that the di­rect Tiger flights be­tween Syd­ney and Proser­pine would have also helped the tourism num­bers in Air­lie as well as the is­lands.

We ob­vi­ously need more flights into the Whit­sun­day Coast Air­port to en­sure the high num­ber of vis­i­tors con­tin­ues.

When Tiger started fly­ing into Proser­pine in April this year, this was the first time the main­land Whit­sun­days had di­rect in­ter­state flights since 2008.

It is there­fore no co­in­ci­dence that in the same year, we are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a bumper school hol­i­day pe­riod.

Let’s hope the weather con­tin­ues and the tourists keep com­ing in fu­ture months.

The fam­ily and friends mar­ket is an im­por­tant part of the lo­cal econ­omy so with such great weather, it’s a good time for any­one with fam­ily and friends in the south­ern states to tell them to book flights now while this weather con­tin­ues.

In other tourism news, the an­nual tourism and business awards are just over a week away.

The awards are be­ing held at the Proser­pine En­ter­tain­ment Cen­tre this year and tick­ets are al­ready on sale.

There are 200 tick­ets avail­able at a cost of $140 each.

It is al­ways a great night and recog­nises the hard work of lo­cal busi­nesses.

Leanne Aber­nethy

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