WMDL SPLITS SECTORS
AS OF April 1, Whitsundays Marketing and Development Limited will be no more.
On Friday, members voted to separate the tourism and economic development operations.
Chairman Trevor Rees was happy with the outcome, saying “tourism needs to stand on its own to have a strong voice”.
“For a number of reasons, the merger of the two organisations (Tourism Whitsundays and Enterprise Whitsun- days) hasn’t thrived as was planned, and it was time to make the move back to two separate organisations,” he said.
Mr Rees said things should remain “business as usual” from an economic development perspective, with a new entity to be established on this front as well.
“However, this process has also given the economic development stakeholders and staff an opportunity to review how to best structure its func- tions and operations, and I am sure there will be new opportunities for their new ED also,” he said.
The directors of WMDL have been asked to resign as of March 31.
“We’ve basically got an interim board we’ve taken pretty much from the (Tourism Strategic Advisory Group) board, which are elected members,” Mr Rees explained to those assembled.
“This is only an interim board and it will come up for election at the next general meeting.”
TSAG deputy chair Al Grundy said the move towards a solely tourism focussed organisation was a positive move for the Whitsundays.
“With 45% of all marine tourism on the Great Barrier Reef generated in the Whitsundays, we need a strong (regional tourism organisation) to focus on our cash cow – our iconic islands, beaches and reefs,” he said.
HOORAY: A cheer goes up among WMDL members for the newly minted Whitsundays Tourism Limited. Photo: Rory Sheavils