New mar­ket to ex­plore

Whitsunday Times - - WHITSUNDAY BUSINESS -

WHIT­SUN­DAYS Mar­ket­ing and De­vel­op­ment Limited (WMDL) has strength­ened its part­ner­ship with Gay and Les­bian Tourism Aus­tralia (GALTA) in a push to ex­plore new mar­ket op­por­tu­ni­ties.

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives from both or­gan­i­sa­tions met ear­lier this month to dis­cuss op­por­tu­ni­ties for pro­mot­ing the Whit­sun­days, ahead of the GALTA an­nual gen­eral meet­ing, which was held in Air­lie Beach.

GALTA pres­i­dent Rod Stringer said gay and les­bian trav­ellers, with their high dis­pos­able in­come, spent an es­ti­mated $20bil­lion an­nu­ally on travel and travel-re­lated items.

“And we look for­ward to work­ing with the Whit­sun­days' tourism op­er­a­tors to pro­mote their won­der­ful attractions through our as­so­ci­a­tion and our world­wide con­nec­tions," he said.

Peter Brooks, who runs the Whit­sun­day Moor­ings B&B in Air­lie Beach, lists the business on­line as be­ing "gay and les­bian friendly".

Nonethe­less, Mr Brooks said he hadn't had many gay cou­ples stay­ing at the six-bed­room bed and break­fast fa­cil­ity.

"I think if they [Whit­sun­day tourism] are go­ing after the gay mar­ket they need to pro­vide things for the gay mar­ket, like a gay bar,” he sug­gested.

"We don't have that at Air­lie - there is noth­ing re­ally ex­clu­sively gay yet.”

Mean­while, other re­gions, such as Cairns, are al­ready cash­ing in on the gay and les­bian mar­ket.

The Far North Queens­land cap­i­tal boasts Tur­tle Cove Beach Re­sort, which is an ex­clu­sively gay and les­bian re­sort.

WMDL’s ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Jeff Aquilina said his or­gan­i­sa­tion was al­ways try­ing to ex­plore new niche mar­ket op­por­tu­ni­ties to stim­u­late fur­ther growth for the Whit­sun­days, and with GALTA tak­ing a more proac­tive ap­proach in pro­mot­ing des­ti­na­tions and hol­i­days to their mem­bers and stake­hold­ers, there was a great op­por­tu­nity for the Whit­sun­days.

NEW OP­POR­TU­NI­TIES: Mario Paez, Rod Stringer, Louise Terry, War­ren Loy, Cas­san­dra Liebeknech and Nick Munro took a trip to White­haven Beach while they were in the Whit­sun­days for the Gay And Les­bian Tourism Aus­tralia (GALTA) an­nual gen­eral meet­ing ear­lier this month.

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