AFTER months of competing with other destinations, the Whitsundays has kicked another tourism goal.
Tourism Minister Kate Jones this week announced the Whitsundays, Brisbane and the Gold Coast would directly benefit from the 'Welcoming China to Southern Queensland and Beyond' project, which is expected to generate millions of dollars in overnight visitor spending.
"We want to get more Chinese tourists into Queensland and make it easy for them to visit different parts of the state,” she said.
"This latest proposal focuses on passengers arriving into Brisbane, then dispersing to other parts of the state, including the Whitsundays and the Gold Coast.”
Tourism Whitsundays CEO Craig Turner said months of hard work would pay dividends for the region.
"We have been working on being involved in the consortium for the last six months to ensure we were part of this,” he said.
"A lot of people wanted to get into it, however, we have been working very hard and for us to be one of the partners is amazing.
"People don't understand the significance of this program, and what it means is that when people from China come through the Brisbane Airport, the Whitsundays will be their destination.”
Mr Turner said while the program only targeted Chinese visitation, the Whitsunday tourism industry had its eggs in more than one basket and was seeking to promote broad appeal.
"We aren't just chasing one market; we will continue to work with Germany, the US, UK and others,” he said.
More than 1.15million Asian tourists visited Queensland in 2016, with 484,000 Chinese guests among them.
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