Tourism Whitsunday CEO Craig Turner at the Budget meeting in Proserpine today. Photo Peter Carruthers / Whitsunday Times
Tourism Whitsunday CEO Craig Turner at the Budget meeting in Proserpine today. Photo Peter Carruthers / Whitsunday Times Peter Carruthers

Budget brings 'bright new dawn' for Tourism Whitsundays.

TOURISM Whitsundays has a $450,000 "bright new dawn" according to Whitsunday Mayor Andrew Willcox.

Cr Willcox used this wording at this morning's budget meeting to describe a funding pledge for the organisation, increased by $100,000 from the previous year.

Tourism Whitsundays CEO Craig Turner was glowing in his praise of council for their support and proactive approach to playing a collaborative role in driving the future growth of tourism in the region.

"For us it shows that council is committed to tourism," he said.

"Having the mayor on our board as well will allow them to be part of a strategy that we provide.

"It's a big tick from council and we won't let them down."

Tourism Whitsundays has submitted an action plan to council and within the organisation's budget and there are projects ear-marked for all parts of the region.

At the top of the list in the near future is marketing of the Coalface Experience in Bowen, developing fossicking trails, promotion of the Bowen River Rodeo and establishing a Mango Festival, as well as a much anticipated water park for Proserpine.

Mr Turner believes the Peter Faust Dam is an underutilised asset and could be a much bigger drawcard for the Whitsundays.

He said discussions with the dam's owner SunWater were already planned.

"We want to work with SunWater to make sure they understand just how important that infrastructure is to the community and to tourism in the region," he said.

"Sitting out there and not being allowed or not being able to develop tourism in it is such a waste to the region."

"(This is) about implementing our plans out there in conjunction with council's requirements."

Cr Willcox meanwhile said he would have a  "hands-on role in developing strategic plans that will set the future vision for the tourism industry in our region."


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