Tourism minister to open night of nights
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.