Whitsundays dubbed 'most desirable' destination
THE Whitsundays has been recognised as a "most desirable" destination with positive national media coverage this week - two and half years after the destruction of Cyclone Debbie.
Featured on A Current Affair on Tuesday night, the pristine Whitsunday Islands, as well as the mainland, were on display for all of Australia to see.
Following the destruction caused by Cyclone Debbie and damaging media attention, Whitsundays tourism advocates have said the coverage couldn't have come at a better time.
The story focused on three newly opened resorts, Freedom Shores, Elysian Retreat and Daydream Island, highlighting the $1billion invested in the region since Cyclone Debbie.
A Current Affair host Tracy Grimshaw described the region as "one of the most beautiful places in Australia and the world" with a stunning film display of Whitsunday beauty to follow.
Tourism Whitsundays chairman Al Grundy said following July's 60 Minutes report about abandoned resorts left to rot in the Whitsundays, it was time to champion the region's momentous rise since the 2017 cyclone devastation.
"The phoenix has risen from the ashes," he said.
"This story is really good timing because most of the stories about us in the last couple of years haven't been positive, so a bit of positive media coverage is a good thing."
Elysian Retreat manager Wayne Rumble backed the good news story, welcoming the A Current Affair team to the island resort.
"We were very excited because it is always good for the entire area when we get to share the Whitsundays and the product we have here," Mr Rumble said.
"The more we can throw out there and show people we are open for business the better. "To include Airlie Beach and the entire region was great because what a lot of people don't realise is it takes an entire community to run an island the resort and there is a lot of support from the mainland to make it all happen."
Mr Grundy said the investment in the Whitsundays and it's tourism industry has been supported by federal, state and the local council's budgets, and now close to three years since Debbie, the tropical paradise is ready to invite the world to its shores.
"The interesting thing is, after Cyclone Debbie the spotlight was on us, and once the spotlight was on us the government and authorities had a look and they realised the potential of the area.
"Everything from the recovery and infrastructure funding to further projects on their way - the investment in the area has put us in the running as one of Australia's best destinations."