Tourism min­is­ter to open night of nights

Whitsunday Times - - NEWS -

TOURISM Min­is­ter Kate Jones has con­firmed she will of­fi­cially open the Whit­sun­day Tourism Awards on Septem­ber 30, a de­ci­sion or­gan­is­ers be­lieve has sent a strong mes­sage of sup­port to the area in the wake of Cy­clone Deb­bie.

Tourism Whitsundays chief ex­ec­u­tive Craig Turner said he was con­fi­dent Ms Jones’ de­ci­sion to at­tend the event was con­fir­ma­tion from the govern­ment that the im­por­tance of tourism in the Whitsundays was “un­der­stood” and “sig­nif­i­cant”.

Mr Turner said al­though re­silience had be­come an “overused word” it also de­fined the tough­ness of the tourism in­dus­try in north Queens­land.

He said Ms Jones would stay on Hamilton Is­land for the night and her pres­ence would be “a very strong en­dorse­ment of our re­gion”.

The awards have al­ready re­ceived a record of more than 70 nom­i­na­tions and Mr Turner said the ap­pli­ca­tion process was a com­mit­ment in it­self, giv­ing busi­nesses time to re­flect on and as­sess their own achieve­ments.

Ms Jones mean­while said she “can’t wait” to be part of the awards.

“The Whit­sun­day tourism in­dus­try has done it tough this year, but they have so much to cel­e­brate. The in­dus­try has re­mained strong thanks to the hard work of tourism op­er­a­tors and the qual­ity ex­pe­ri­ences you can only find in the Whitsundays,” she said.

Mr Turner said while chal­lenges re­mained for the busi­ness com­mu­nity, the worst was be­hind us and we shouldn’t for­get how suc­cess­ful tourism was be­fore the cy­clone.

He said the Whitsundays as a des­ti­na­tion would be bet­ter than it was be­fore af­ter all the “re­plac­ing and re­pair­ing” was com­plete.


RAT­INGS MA­TE­RIAL: A shot from film­ing Chi­nese re­al­ity show Di­vas Hit the Road in the Whitsundays.


VOTE OF CON­FI­DENCE: Tourism Min­is­ter Kate Jones will open the Whit­sun­day Tourism Awards.

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