Instagrammers put Mackay on the map
THOUSANDS around the world have been given a window into Mackay's potential tourism hot spots, thanks to the work of prominent Instagrammers.
Instagrammers, or those with massive audiences on the photo-sharing website called Instagram, like Mackay's Mark Fitzpatrick have attracted a following by posting captivating photographs on their accounts.
Mr Fitzpatrick started posting on Instagram only a couple of years ago, when he started visiting the Great Barrier Reef with his GoPro.
Now 51,000 people around the world follow his account - @_markfitz - as he posts photos from Airlie Beach to Shoal Point and Keswick Island.
According to Mackay Tourism's general manager Tas Webber the pictures 'build aspiration' in travellers; the first step in luring them to the region.
"Instagram is a great promotional tool," Mr Webber said.
"It builds aspiration because people relate to it. It feels real."
He said it was "part of the marketing mix" used to encourage potential tourists to take that second step - source the information needed to book a trip.
All afternoon @julesingall and I had been patiently waiting for this sunset! 🌅🌴 The high cloud had started coming across the sky just after midday and John (Moses of the clouds 😂) the skipper of @paradiseexplorer had told us it would be a good one! So just imagine our despair when at sunset it looked to be fizzing out 😭😳. Jules headed to the bar to get us some beers 🍻 to help drown our sorrows. Just as she made it back to the beach the weather gods flicked the switch and the sky lit up like a Christmas tree 😍. Such a stunning way to end the perfect day beach hopping through the Whitsundays! 🌅🌴🐟😀 #ParadiseExplorer #MontesReefResort #lovewhitsundays #thisisqueensland #seeaustralia @queensland @whitsundaysqld
In the future he said Mackay Tourism planned to run 'Instameets' four times a year.
These events involve Instagrammers meeting up at an idyllic local location to take and share photos.
As each person shares them to different networks, the images could reach thousands of people immediately.
Mark Fitzpatrick's top five "hidden gems" around Mackay to take stunning photos
Sunset Bay, Eimeo
Lone tree, Shoal Point