Boost for Whitsundays tourism

WHITSUNDAY tourism operators welcomed a positive boost from Tourism Queensland international market directors on Monday which proved a change from the doom and gloom of recent times.

Guest speakers told operators the Whitsundays was the perfect tourism destination for European travellers, and Germans in particular.

One-on-one time with the 12 regional directors from around the world allowed operators to find out the latest market trends and how they could best tap into that market.

Tourism Queensland international executive director Wendy Harch said things could be looking up for the industry with many European countries making it through the global financial crisis.

“Some segments are looking up,” she said.

“We'd like to think we either have or are turning a corner.”

Directors visited from destinations including New Zealand, Japan, America, Germany, Ireland and the United Kingdom.

Tourism Queensland Whitsundays director Racheal Klitscher said having the directors come to the region was a great opportunity to show off the Whitsundays.

“[The conferences] are traditionally held in Cairns and the Gold Coast so it is a rare opportunity to have these people in the Whitsundays and experience it,” she said.

While the directors were here, they visited some of the islands so they could better sell the market when they returned home.

At Hotel Group general manager Jeff Aquilina said he had already noticed marginal improvements in the international market at Waters Edge Resort.

“Our German numbers are up and it is encouraging to see the French and Italians are also interested [in the area],” he said.

“It is good news for the Whitsundays and it was a good opportunity to meet Tourism Queensland representatives and people could talk first hand to them.”

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