A LACK of interest in the cruise ship forum scheduled for Wednesday, June 13 almost saw the event cancelled, but it will still go ahead.
A LACK of interest in the cruise ship forum scheduled for Wednesday, June 13 almost saw the event cancelled, but it will still go ahead.

Cruise ship forum to go ahead

A LACK of interest in the cruise ship forum scheduled for Wednesday, June 13 almost saw the event cancelled, but Tourism Queensland's Whitsunday regional director Racheal Klitscher confirmed yesterday it will still go ahead. Ms Klitscher said TQ understood this was a quiet time of year with staff often away, making it difficult for operators to leave their businesses. Nonetheless she stressed the potential benefits of going along.

"This is about understanding just how important the cruise ship industry is to the Whitsundays, particularly for tour operators and tourism attractions," she said.

"There's a lot of people that are getting off the boat at Airlie Beach and looking for things to do. At the moment there's only a couple of things on offer, which are doing really well, but people are hungry for more. Tourism Queensland would like to assist operators to capitalize on this market opportunity and this forum will be an informative and hands-on session."

Acting volunteer ambassador co-ordinator Helen Loft said she was very concerned by the apparent lack of interest from local businesses who had the most to gain from cruise ship visits.

"The ambassadors volunteer their time and work very hard to give the ship's passengers a warm welcome, as much information as possible and a cheery farewell so that they leave our town having had a very enjoyable experience. But we can only do so much," she said.

"It is up to the businesses themselves to take up this challenge and get involved with the cruise ship program. I see this as being absolutely crucial to this town. We've got to get people spending a bit more money and more importantly coming back for holidays here."

The cruise ship forum is free of charge to attend and will be held at Peppers Coral Coast Resort on Wednesday, June 13 from 9-11am. For more information contact Racheal Klitscher on 0419 662 933.


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