For immediate release: 11.04.2017 by Tourism Whitsundays
What a difference a week makes!
These were the words of Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk who dropped into the Whitsundays on Tuesday (April 11) to throw her full support behind the region following exTropical
Cyclone Debbie. The Premier, who was joined by Tourism Minister Kate Jones on the visit, has pledged $5 million in funding for the parts of Queensland affected by the Category 4 cyclone, which struck on March 28. The State Government’s funding matches the $5 million pledged by the Federal Government.
Speaking at the Port of Airlie Maritime Terminal, in Airlie Beach, against a backdrop of blue sky, the Premier said “it doesn’t get much better than this”. “My message today is that the Whitsundays is open for business – look how beautiful it is!”she said. “The money pledged today will ensure Queensland, and the Whitsundays, can get back on its feet and we are here to support you.”
The Premier said credit must go to the tourism operators, Whitsundays Mayor Andrew Willcox, Tourism Whitsundays and Ergon Energy, who have all worked so hard to get things back up and running. Tourism Minister Kate Jones, meanwhile, said tourism was the “lifeblood” of the Whitsundays. “This new $10 million marketing campaign will showcase the Whitsundays to the world and Australia,” she said. “We are saying very clearly that you can holiday here in the Whitsundays – it is not only beautiful but it is truly restored, thanks to everyone working around the clock – and we would encourage those with holidays booked to follow through, and those who are planning a holiday to consider the Whitsundays, as the welcome mat is well and truly out.”
Tourism Whitsundays CEO Craig Turner, who invited all levels of government to the Whitsundays and ensured they met with tourism operators ‘on the ground’, said to be able to host the Premier and Tourism Minister in region was “an absolute honour”.
“The fact that they have followed through on the commitments they made verbally throughout the weather event will put the Whitsundays in a very strong position,” he said. “The financial commitment made today is exactly the shot in the arm the Whitsundays needed and the funding is large enough to allow us to do marketing activity over a prolonged period and get the Whitsundays back to where it should be, which is as an iconic holiday destination.”