Call for more flights
EXTRA flights into the Whitsundays are needed if the tourism industry is to grow.
That is the view of the Chief Executive Officer of Tourism Whitsundays and many tourism operators.
In the past 18 months, the Whitsundays has lost four direct flights a week from Sydney to Proserpine and seven direct flights a week from Sydney to Hamilton Island
Three years ago, Hamilton Island also had direct flights from Adelaide but that route has been dropped totally.
Tourism Whitsundays is now leading the push to attract extra flights to our region and has announced a plan to lobby the airlines for increased air services.
This is starting with a departure lounge survey at Whitsunday Coast and Hamilton Island airports over the next month.
Chairman of Tourism Whitsundays, Chris Jacobs, said modern airline models were demand driven.
"Tourism Whitsundays is all about increasing demand for our destination, and we need to drive demand from the source markets that are serviced by flights here," Mr Jacobs said.
"This survey is gathering data on the current demand, and on top of the airlines seeing full flights with high yields, we hope this will trigger new flights," he said.
CEO Peter O’Reilly said this survey was part of a wider air access strategy and the data would be used to prepare a business case for the airlines to improve air services to our region.
"A Business Demand Survey will also be conducted in the region during November and December to supplement the departure lounge survey," he said.
"It is important to present a solid business case based on quantified data to the airlines, rather than simply say ‘we need more flights."
This work will not be possible without the involvement of volunteers and TW is looking for people to help with the survey.
The survey will be run from Tuesday, November 10 until Monday, November 30 at Whitsunday Coast and Hamilton Island Airports.
For training purposes, a commitment of at least two days a week is needed.
Any interested volunteers should contact Destination Management Officer at Tourism Whitsundays, Marc Turner on 4948 5903 or via firstname.lastname@example.org