Chamber Chat - Thursday, August 22, 2019

Short and sweet this week as the last fortnight has been hectic with all sorts of events, announcements and interesting commentary taking place. Just a usual fortnight really.
The fabulous weather has held for a few weeks now giving water based operators a well-earned rest from constant battering and with numbers fairly solid, the region is riding a bit of a wave.
The weather gods have been kind to Airlie Beach Race week, allowing for a spectacular event in ideal conditions. This event genuinely brings people to town and the lift in trade is noticeable with hundreds of competitors, family and support crew staying in town for an extended period. 
In fact it is the ideal platform to launch complementary events that cater to the ladies and families whilst the boys go sailing. Much like Hamilton Island, it is an opportunity for various businesses in town to create an exceptional experience for all of these visitors and make it an attraction in its own right. Food for thought!
During this week, The Chamber met with Regional Development Australia and supported Toursim Whitsunday in their push for funding for priority projects. Top of the list is the Whitsunday Sky Way project which requires no funding but needs government support to speed up departmental approvals. It is a genuine key infrastructure project, with minimal environmental impact and the potential to open up mainland activities that we so desperately crave. It would be an absolute drawcard in its own right and a great asset for the region bringing in significant economic benefit.
The region needs significant attraction developments like this to turn our fortunes around. Whilst international numbers are solid, and our natural assets unique and aspirational, we do need to work harder for the family and domestic traveller we now target in order to give them a reason and complete experience to come to The Whitsunday's for.
The Chamber’s Breakfast networking event this morning will include our AGM. The new committee will be announced via our website and Facebook page. Our digital marketing panel event will certainly open some opportunities and create inspiration for local businesses on how to drive traffic through the door.
We will be meeting with the mayor and CEO next week to discuss a number of topics including more game-changer developments and long term plan for Lagoon and "Chinatown" site.
Until next time, stay busy!
Allan Milostic
President, Whitsunday Coast Chamber of Commerce

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