More responses needed

THE lack of an early morning flight from Proserpine has caused the Whitsunday business community to suffer nightmarish itineraries whenever business in the city has called.

A typical day for a Whitsunday business traveller might involve an early morning drive to Mackay, followed by a flight to Brisbane to meet business needs, an afternoon flight back to Mackay, followed by a late drive home.

Alternatively an otherwise unnecessary night’s accommodation in Brisbane might be a regular expense.

Based on the low number of responses to the Tourism Whitsundays Air Access Business Survey however, you would think flights were the last of the business community’s concerns.

The survey, which has been running for the past month, has so far had just 150 responses, less than one tenth of the number of existing businesses in the Whitsundays.

One of those who have responded is Alison Wieden, Administration Manager for Ian Roebuck Plumbing and Drainage, and she said the poor response was tremendously disappointing.

“I think the survey is very important,” Ms Wieden said.

“Business relies on tourism to sustain the community and we need more flights for everyone.

“It only takes about 10 minutes and there’s no doubt it will be time well spent.”

Destination Management Officer for Tourism Whitsundays Marc Turner echoed Ms Wieden’s view that it was important businesses across all industries, not just tourism, took the survey.

“The airlines see Proserpine as purely a tourism destination,” Mr Turner said.

“That’s not true, there’s a business demand as well but for us to have the kind of leverage we need to convince the airlines of this, the volume of data has to be much greater.”

The survey will continue to run until the end of January and Mr Turner said the input of all businesses from the Islands and across the mainland to Collinsville and Bloomsbury would be essential.

The survey can be found at the Tourism Whitsundays website at www.tourismwhitsundays.com.au.


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