Good news all round
IT WAS interesting to hear about the new report by the Great Barrier Reef Foundation.
Prepared by Deloitte Access Economics, it reveals the total asset value of the reef to be $56 billion, based on the World Heritage site’s economic, social and iconic brand value.
Those of us living and working in the Whitsundays are all too aware of its value to us but this is the first time someone has placed a dollar value on it.
The figure of $56 billion was broken down, with tourism, at $29 billion the biggest contributor, followed by $23.8 billion from indirect or non-use value, and its value to recreational users ($3.2 billion) rounds it out.
Alongside its important ecological function, this report demonstrates the reef offers substantial value to Australia and the world in terms of the economic activity it generates and the employment and experiences it supports.
The reef added $6.4 billion to the economy in 2015–16 and supported more than 64,000 full-time jobs.
I sincerely hope, now there is a dollar value placed on the reef, that all of us, including our politicians, can find a way to do even more to protect it for future generations.
In other news, the announcement that the Whitsundays will again host the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race in 2018, is welcome. The stopover will include a welcome event, a rodeo and a lunch on Whitehaven Beach, with the Clipper “carnival” expected to attract more than 4000 visitors and generate more than $3 million for the economy.
Thanks to Whitsunday Regional Council, Abell Point Marina, Tourism Whitsundays and Tourism and Events Queensland for their support.
And lastly, domestic visitors are staying longer and spending more.
The National Visitor Statistics for the year ending March 31, 2017, showed while the number of visitors to the region was slightly down on last year (2.9%), visitor expenditure was up 8.6%, at $538.5 million. The average length of stay was also up on the previous year, with domestic holiday- makers staying an average 1.1 nights longer than previously, at 5.9 nights.
That has to be a good thing!