GBRMPA fig­ures re­veal sign of op­ti­mism

Whitsunday Times - - NEWS -

AS WE know, through­out this whole weather event, Tourism Whit­sun­days has been in con­stant com­mu­ni­ca­tion with all lev­els of gov­ern­ment.

On Tues­day this week, we were pleased to host Queens­land Premier An­nasta­cia Palaszczuk, Queens­land Tourism Min­is­ter Kate Jones, Fed­eral Tourism Min­is­ter Steven Ciobo and Fed­eral Mem­ber for Daw­son Ge­orge Chris­tensen in the Whit­sun­days.

The rea­son for their visit was to an­nounce a sub­stan­tial funding pack­age to re­boot the Whit­sun­day tourism in­dus­try.

The fi­nan­cial and hu­man re­sources pro­vided by gov­ern­ment are crit­i­cal to kick-start­ing a re­turn to the strong vis­i­ta­tion prior to Cy­clone Deb­bie.

Tourism Whit­sun­days, along with in­dus­try, Tourism and Events Queens­land and gov­ern­ment de­part­ments, are com­mit­ted to see­ing record vis­i­ta­tion to the Whit­sun­days in the short to medium term.

I would like to ac­knowl­edge the ef­forts of the Whit­sun­day Re­gional Coun­cil Mayor An­drew Will­cox and chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Barry Omund­son who have done a fan­tas­tic job through­out this weather event.

Their work, and the work of their whole team, has not gone un­no­ticed by the Whit­sun­day com­mu­nity.

The team at Na­tional Parks and Wildlife has been work­ing tire­lessly and quickly re­opened Hill In­let Walk and Nara In­let Walk.

It has re­shaped the south­ern end of White­haven Beach to re­store it to glory.

It also goes with­out say­ing that the ef­forts of vol­un­teers such as those in the SES, and Ergon En­ergy, who have re­turned power, are appreciated.

The lat­est Great Bar­rier Reef Marine Park Author­ity En­vi­ron­men­tal Man­age­ment Charge vis­i­ta­tion num­bers were re­leased on Wed­nes­day.

They showed that the Whit­sun­days has, for the first time, re­ceived more than one mil­lion vis­i­tors to the marine park, at 1,051,000 vis­i­tors in 2016, rep­re­sent­ing 44% of all tourism to the reef.

The Whit­sun­days is the first Great Bar­rier Reef des­ti­na­tion to ex­ceed one mil­lion vis­i­tors to the Great Bar­rier Reef Marine Park and these num­bers re­in­force the fact that the Whit­sun­days is now the des­ti­na­tion of choice.

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