Tourism in­dus­try shines bright

Whitsunday Times - - YOUR SAY - Re­gional editor

RE­SILIENCE. It’s a word that gets bandied about a lot in the smaller cor­ners of Aus­tralia.

But nowhere was it more be­fit­ting and cel­e­brated than at the 2017 Whit­sun­day Tourism Awards on Hamil­ton Is­land on Satur­day night.

Every one of the many award win­ners and fi­nal­ists had a tale of courage and ex­traor­di­nary strength.

To bounce back from the dev­as­ta­tion of Cy­clone Deb­bie to be stand­ing on the stage in their black-tie best just six test­ing months later should be an in­spi­ra­tion to us all.

The value of the tourism in­dus­try to the lo­cal econ­omy can not be un­der­es­ti­mated.

It con­trib­utes about $728 mil­lion to the re­gion and pro­vides thou­sands of direct jobs and hun­dreds more in­di­rectly.

The tourism op­er­a­tors, along with ev­ery­one else in our re­gion, has suf­fered as a re­sult of the cy­clone in March but the tourism in­dus­try proved its re­silience at the week­end when more than 400 peo­ple, in­clud­ing op­er­a­tors, spon­sors and sup­port­ers, cel­e­brated each other’s suc­cess at the re­gion’s equiv­a­lent of the Os­cars.

A to­tal of 41 busi­nesses were recog­nised for their tire­less de­vo­tion.

Con­grat­u­la­tions again to all the win­ners and fi­nal­ists.

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