OPERATION SNORKEL: Cricket great Matthew Hayden  went snorkelling at the reef last week as part of his Operation Sunshine campaign to promote the region to the world.
OPERATION SNORKEL: Cricket great Matthew Hayden went snorkelling at the reef last week as part of his Operation Sunshine campaign to promote the region to the world.

Whitsundays get positive promotion

IT WAS a week of positive publicity for the region last week with sporting greats, TV shows, competitions and magazine stories highlighting the region.

Channel 7’s morning program Sunrise made several live crosses to Airlie Beach for the weather, Australian cricket legend Matthew Hayden stopped off to film his documentary and two of some of our tourism hotspots featured in Australian Traveller Magazine.

A number of tourism operators banded together to create a competition to win a Whitsunday holiday which was launched on social media sites and young Jack Vidgen did the region proud when he took the stage again in the semi-finals of Channel 7’s Australia’s Got Talent.

Cricketer Matthew Hayden arrived in the Whitsundays last Wednesday as part of his Operation Sunshine campaign which promoted Queensland to the rest of the world.

Hayden went snorkelling at the reef and visited Whitehaven Beach.

He also mingled with the locals at the Tourism Whitsundays networking function on Thursday night where cricket fans had the opportunity to share a beer and some banter with their hero.

Hayden has been travelling the Queensland coast for the past few months and said he was pleased to finally get to the Whitsundays after localised flooding in March prevented him from visiting.

THE last time Sunrise weather man James Tobin was on the Airlie Beach foreshore was just after cyclone Ului had ripped through town.

So when he came back last week to read the weather for Channel 7’s Sunrise morning program, it was worlds apart.

The image of boats smashed up against the shoreline in March 2010 was replaced with bright smiles, a peaceful, sunlit backdrop and positive people.

Tobin was in the Whitsundays to celebrate the announcement of being crowned Australia’s happiest town.

"I’ve been here in two extremes," he said.

"It was amazing to see the contrast from then and now.

"To come back and see it looking so pristine and to see this amazing fighting spirit with the small business owners is just fantastic."

Tourism Whitsundays entered the Whitsundays in the Vaalia happiest town competition after the Smile Whitsundays campaign started in April.

Tobin said the campaign was proof a town could lift its profile.

"So often it is up to [the people of the town] to be pro-active about it and the Smile Whitsundays thing is really cool," he said.

Friday morning saw the foreshore filled with people where live crosses from the Sunrise studio in Sydney showcased sunny Airlie Beach and smiley locals.

Tobin also read the weather at the Lion’s markets on Saturday morning for Weekend Sunrise.

THE crew from Australian Traveller Magazine spent some time in the Whitsundays for their latest issue.

Wedding venue Villa Botanica featured on the front cover and local models and lovebirds Brendan Ruge and Marianna Portholes were involved in the photo shoot.

Magazine editor Elisabeth Knowles named the venue as Australia’s most romantic wedding destination.

Luxury Hamilton Island resort Qualia also featured as a honeymoon destination and Whitehaven Beach and Hardy and Heart Reef also got a mention.

The coverage formed part of the magazine’s ‘romance special’ which saw the region splashed across more than 10 pages.

TOURISM operators have joined forces to create a 25-night Whitsunday holiday with 74 features.

The 50 operators have created an independent social media competition which they are hoping will gain entries from across the globe and tell people to ‘Do the Whitsundays’.

The competition was launched yesterday and offers two people to have a Whitsunday holiday worth more than $50, 000.

Campaign organiser Philip Batty said it was this potential for the online competition to go viral that had the capacity to make ‘Do the Whitsundays’ a great success.

"Basically the more times your name is in the hat the more chance it has of being pulled out," he said.

To enter the competition visit the ‘Do the Whitsundays’ Facebook page.

Entrants will have 74 days from June 1 to accumulate as many entries as possible by sharing the page with friends.

Find ‘Do the Whitsundays’ at www.dothewhitsundays.com.au or enter at http://www.facebook.com/dtwhitsundays.

"The idea is to spread it around the world as quickly as possible."

The prize includes flights from anywhere in the world, accommodation and activities.

THE crew from Australian Traveller Magazine spent some time in the Whitsundays for their latest issue.

Wedding venue Villa Botanica featured on the front cover and local models and lovebirds Brendan Ruge and Marianna Portholes were involved in the photo shoot.

Magazine editor Elisabeth Knowles named the venue as Australia’s most romantic wedding destination.

Luxury Hamilton Island resort Qualia also featured as a honeymoon destination and Whitehaven Beach and Hardy and Heart Reef also got a mention.

The coverage formed part of the magazine’s ‘romance special’ which saw the region splashed across more than 10 pages.

Chance to do Whitsundays

TOURISM operators have joined forces to create a 25-night Whitsunday holiday with 74 features.

The 50 operators have created an independent social media competition which they are hoping will gain entries from across the globe and tell people to ‘Do the Whitsundays’.

The competition was launched yesterday and offers two people to have a Whitsunday holiday worth more than $50, 000.

Campaign organiser Philip Batty said it was this potential for the online competition to go viral that had the capacity to make ‘Do the Whitsundays’ a great success.

"Basically the more times your name is in the hat the more chance it has of being pulled out," he said.

 


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