Chamber Chat – Thursday, October 31, 2019

Unfortunately, the region has had another shark incident this week. As I write this column, details are lacking so it is absolutely imperative that our community does not speculate or make comments to friends and family beyond acknowledging the fact that something has happened and thankfully the people involved are safe and being well cared for. 

Our thoughts go out to those involved and our congratulations and thanks to the quick actions of the entire paramedic and medical teams.
The event is at odds with the sense of optimism and positivity in the air.

The Airlie Beach Music Festival is just around the corner and with spectacular conditions, we had three cruise ships dock in Pioneer Bay in the space of four days (Thursday through to Sunday) bringing a huge economic benefit to traders and operators in the region and a fantastic vibe to the town. 

Cruise ships are an invaluable part of our economy and I’d like to thank all the hardworking cruise ship ambassadors who give visitors to our little seaside town such a great welcome and experience. Not only do the ship’s passengers fill town, they also go out on many trips, further spreading their holiday dollar, which is what it’s all about!
Watch out for cruise ship alerts on Tourism Whitsundays’ Facebook page, along with some handy tips on how you can be “irresistible” to our cruise ship visitors when they arrive.

Talking of Tourism Whitsundays, I would like to congratulate Tash and her team on a fantastic night on Saturday. The Whitsunday Tourism Awards never fail to impress and it was a great event on Daydream Island – well done to all the winners.

The Whitsunday Coast Chamber of Commerce was very proud to sponsor the new business categories in this year’s tourism awards, giving recognition to non-tourism businesses and tourism businesses.

The categories were (winners in brackets) Outstanding Customer Service (Magnums Backpackers), Whitsunday Business of the Year (BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday), Whitsundays Favourite Place to Eat (Whitsunday Sailing Club), Whitsundays Health & Wellness Business of the Year (Wes Bau Personal Training), Whitsundays New Business of the Year (The Garden Bar & Bistro), Whitsundays Photographer/Videographer of the Year (Riptide Creative), Whitsundays Reservations/Booking Service of the Year (Airlie Beach Tourism), Whitsundays Retailer of the Year (Court & Spark Boutique) and the People’s Choice Award (Ocean Rafting).

Congratulations to all the winners – we have a diverse and exciting business landscape in the Whitsundays and it is great when we all work together. 
The Whitsundays weddings industry is another great example of collaborative working and well done to all the suppliers for pitching in and assisting with weddings following the unfortunate demise of one of the region’s biggest wedding planners. 

Fish D’vine has also now stepped in and bought the wedding business, which can only be good for the sector with all their local experience.

I’d also like to acknowledge Tourism Whitsundays chairman, Al Grundy, who stepped down at Monday‘s AGM, and thank him for all his hard work in the industry over the past three years. We look forward to working with new TW chair Matt Boileau and all the committee.

And last but by no means least, we have been working away on the Airlie Main Street survey results – we were overwhelmed with the number of responses we received and there are some great ideas in there. We will be sharing the results very soon.

See you at the Airlie Beach Festival of Music next week – what with the Melbourne Cup parties on Tuesday and then the festival the following weekend, it’s going to be busy!

Cruise ships are an invaluable part of our local economy.

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