Tourism organisations have issued a passionate plea to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to provide support to the struggling Whitsundays tourism industry. Picture: Tourism Whitsundays
Tourism organisations have issued a passionate plea to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to provide support to the struggling Whitsundays tourism industry. Picture: Tourism Whitsundays

Premier plea: Flight blow gives operators ‘no choice’

A PASSIONATE plea has been made directly to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk as the battling Whitsundays tourism industry say it has been left with no choice but to reach out to her directly.

Tourism Whitsundays has outlined the significant losses the industry has suffered because of coronavirus restrictions and says a disproportionate amount of funding has been allocated to the Whitsundays compared to other areas of Queensland.

Forty Whitsunday tourism products reported losses of more than $5 million in direct bookings and more in indirect spending in the first 72 hours following the because of the Greater Sydney travel restriction announcement.

"This last blow, after months of struggle, has left key Whitsundays industry representatives no other choice but to directly reach out to Premier Palaszczuk to request immediate support and action for the Whitsunday tourism industry," a statement from Tourism Whitsundays read.

"The Whitsundays is one of the most tourism reliant regions in the country representing one in three jobs and accounting for approximately 40 per cent of the $6.3 billion Great Barrier Reef market to Queensland."

More stories:

New walking track coming to iconic island

Why some Whitsunday businesses can't claim COVID-19 grant

Long-awaited island reopening enjoys flying start

During the initial COVID restriction period, the region lost more than $75 million a month from the local economy.

Further to this, total overnight visitor expenditure for the year ending March 2020 shows that the Whitsundays had a decline of 14.3 per cent compared to the same period 2019, which was the greatest across the state.

"It seems a disproportionate amount of COVID recovery funding has been allocated to other areas of Queensland, which has left our local tourism operators asking, at what point through COVID will the Whitsundays Great Barrier Reef, Islands, Marine Tours and Mainland be considered iconic and significant?" the Tourism Whitsundays statement read.

To be recognised as a valued tourism region, the Whitsundays representatives have requested the following support and action from the Queensland Government:

1. Funding provided directly to Whitsunday tourism businesses including island resorts, marine tourism operators and backpacking sector

2. Additional funding to the Whitsunday Coast and Hamilton Island Airports for aviation development

3. A dedicated destination recovery marketing fund

4. Fast-tracked approvals in support of the Whitsunday Skyway Project

5. Relax eligibility criteria for the COVID small business adaptation grant to allow greater take up from the Whitsundays


Bowen mum of six gets jail for drug drive trifecta

Premium Content Bowen mum of six gets jail for drug drive trifecta

She had slurred speech and glazed eyes when pulled up by police.

NAMED: Whitsunday man fronts court over alleged MP assault

Premium Content NAMED: Whitsunday man fronts court over alleged MP assault

He is accused of assaulting Jason Costigan at a Proserpine pub.

VOTE NOW: The best hairdresser in the Whitsundays

Premium Content VOTE NOW: The best hairdresser in the Whitsundays

The nominees are in. Now it’s time to help choose who will be crowned the best...