Resort open­ings a hot topic

Whitsunday Times - - NEWS - Clau­dia Alp clau­dia.alp@whit­sun­day­times.com.au

THE re-open­ing of Day­dream Is­land, Hay­man Is­land and Air­lie Beach Ho­tel were hot top­ics at the Tourism and Events Queens­land Con­ver­sa­tions with the In­dus­try fo­rum on Mon­day.

The busi­ness net­work­ing event is part of a se­ries run by Tourism and Events Queens­land to present new projects and dis­cuss key busi­ness ar­eas such as digital, de­vel­op­ment and domestic and in­ter­na­tional mar­ket­ing.

Tourism and Events Queens­land CEO Leanne Cod­ding­ton said the fo­cus of this year’s fo­rum was com­ing back from the dev­as­ta­tion of Cy­clone Deb­bie over the past 12 months.

“What we fo­cused on to­day is how we re­ally work well to­gether to make sure we at­tract peo­ple to come here,” Ms Cod­ding­ton said.

“It will be stronger be­cause it will be new prod­uct.”

“It will be re­ally good for those that have weathered through the last 12 months, for the new op­er­a­tors com­ing back in and it will lift ev­ery­one in the re­gion.”

As part of its mis­sion to de­liver out­stand­ing ex­pe­ri­ences, Tourism and Events Queens­land is us­ing sta­tis­tics from on­line cus­tomer re­views and con­sumer ex­pec­ta­tions through the Best of Queens­land Pro­gram launched in Oc­to­ber 2017.

Ms Cod­ding­ton said the Queens­land Govern­ment was work­ing along­side the tourism body to pro­vide fund­ing and de­velop spe­cific pro­grams which would help grow tourism ex­pe­ri­ences and in­fra­struc­ture based on con­sumer feed­back.

It comes af­ter the Palaszczuk govern­ment’s call last Thurs­day for ten­ders to con­duct a study into devel­op­ing a pre­mium eco-tourism ex­pe­ri­ence on Whit­sun­day Is­land.

Tourism Whit­sun­days Gen­eral Man­ager Natasha Wheeler said out of the chaos and de­struc­tion of Cy­clone Deb­bie had come count­less undis­cov­ered se­crets in the Whit­sun­days.

“It’s ex­cit­ing be­cause for once there’s a pro­gram in place that will ac­tu­ally have our in­dus­try strive to achieve bet­ter in all of the ar­eas that glob­ally peo­ple are search­ing for,” she said.

“The last 12 months has kind of al­lowed us to fo­cus on the wider Whit­sun­day story and what else is out there.

“It’s a re­ally ex­cit­ing time for us, es­pe­cially do­mes­ti­cally, and look­ing at how we can grow that mes­sage of the Whit­sun­days.”

Day­dream Is­land is set to re-open in Septem­ber 2018. Hay­man Is­land has not set an ex­act date for re-open­ing but will be tak­ing reser­va­tions from March 1, 2019.

The Air­lie Beach Ho­tel has opened its three-star mo­tel rooms with four-star rooms open­ing on June 1.

PHOTO: CLAU­DIA ALP

TOURISM TALKS: Stake­hold­ers join for a net­work­ing fo­rum at Coral Sea Resort.

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