Gearing up for busy year

WHITSUNDAYS tourism businesses are gearing up for a busy year, with several new upgrades and product offerings set to innovate the local industry.

Sunsail this week announced four new flotilla packages available throughout the year.

Whitsundays Marketing and Development Chief Executive Officer Danial Rochford said bareboating in the Whitsundays had recently been named Australia's best yachting experience and the flotilla concept was a new innovation that travellers could participate in.

"Bareboating is a very unique type of holiday and what better place to experience it than the Whitsundays," Mr Rochford said.

"The concept of a flotilla where up to 10 yachts can travel together accompanied by a lead boat with an experienced captain and host is a creative way to entice people to try bareboating for the first time," he said.

"The itineraries are also planned to take in some of the 'off the beaten track' sights of the Whitsundays which should also entice more seasoned sailors."

The flotillas will depart 31 March, 30 June, 22 September and 10 November.

Air Whitsunday has also announced the completed refurbishment of their two semi submersibles Sun Dancer and Coral Dancer providing much needed additional capacity at their private Great Barrier Reef lagoon location.

Together the vessels provide capacity for up to 30 passengers.

Operations manager Lauren Ward said with the increased demand of the popular Great Barrier Reef tours the company's aim is to provide its unique experience as a group interaction upon one vessel while the smaller Coral Dancer is used for private charter purposes for the high end leisure market and small conference and incentive groups.

Mr Rochford congratulated the level of innovation local tourism operators were implementing into their businesses.

"It is so important in a challenging tourism environment for operators to be innovative in their products, services and offerings, he said

"It is encouraging to see that many local businesses are aware of this and are making changes and upgrades to meet traveller demand."


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