Tourism funding welcome
THE Whitsundays could see underwater statues, art sculptures, coral gardening and a raft of other tourist attractions under a
$25 million election commitment.
Queensland Tourism Minister Kate Jones visited the Airlie Beach Lagoon last week to pledge the Great Barrier Reef Island rejuvenation funds – with Tourism Whitsundays, local government and the State Government to have input on the process.
Tourism Whitsundays CEO Craig Turner said this was what the region needed to ensure the 750,000 visitors which visit the Whitsundays continued to enjoy “worldclass” experiences.
“The minister was very clear, this isn’t money to clean up island resorts, it’s investing in infrastructure and assets to position us going forward post Cyclone Debbie,” he said.
“Money could be spent on improving Whitehaven and additional above-water attractions. We said to her that $3–4 million could go towards underwater art sculptures and assets that increase the visitor experience.”
Funding would be delivered under the Reef Resort Rejuvenation Fund which will prioritise projects focused on “cleaning, greening and growing.”
This will mean the removal of waste from island resorts, promotion of more environmentally friendly experiences and encouraging further development of facilities such as vessel moorings, new amenities and developing public walks.
Mr Turner said Mrs Jones led with “action, not words” and made seven visits to the Whitsundays since Cyclone Debbie.
“She is very keen to make sure the Whitsundays bounces back and better than ever... all I’d ask of the other (Whitsunday) candidates is to tell us what does tourism mean to them?” he said.