Following a region-wide survey to find out what people wanted for the Airlie Beach Main Street, an astonishing array of imaginative ideas have come forward!
The survey was carried out by the Whitsunday Coast Chamber of Commerce following a Public Forum, at the Whitsunday Sailing Club, in July.
The Public Forum was held in conjunction with Tourism Whitsundays and Whitsunday Regional Council, and drew a large crowd of stakeholders and interested parties, who all had the opportunity to have their say. The survey questions were formulated from what was discussed at the forum.
The Airlie Beach Main Street survey addressed events and festivals, as well as issues such as street scaping, signage, parking, traffic flow, shop frontage upgrades, lighting, outdoor dining and welcoming cruise ship visitors.
Whitsunday Coast Chamber of Commerce president Allan Milostic said it was great to see so much passion for, and commitment to, Airlie Beach and the region in the responses to the survey, which attracted 184 respondents.
“It is clear, when you read through the survey responses, how much people care about Airlie Beach - some people took the time to write upwards of 100 words for certain questions,” he said.
“It has been absolutely fascinating to read the responses. That’s why we are also publishing the original 37-page document showing the actual responses, as well as a five-page summary report, so people can read for themselves the many and varied answers to the open-ended questions, and see exactly how many people responded each way on the important issues such as parking.”
Suggestions for adding the ‘wow’ factor to the Airlie Beach Main Street included a roller skating rink, bowling alley, outdoor cinema, mini-golf, gondola ride, zip lines and a wave pool.
Night markets, buskers, live music, an “eat street” and look-outs (with ‘user-pays’ fixed binoculars) all found support, as well as respondents wanting more events in town.
When asked ‘Would you like to see events in Airlie Beach increase from eight significant events to 12?’ the response was overwhelmingly in favour of increasing to 12 (86 per cent of respondents).
Some kind of food/wine/beer festival was a resounding ‘first place’ when asked for ideas, and a fish and seafood festival was also mentioned, accompanied by a fishing festival in a couple of instances, and also fruit/local produce festivals.
A Film Festival was in second place by a country mile, followed by music festivals, talent shows and comedy festivals.
Mr. Milostic said the next step was for the Whitsunday Coast Chamber of Commerce to formulate a draft strategy, based on the survey results, and work with Whitsunday
Regional Council to come up with an achievable action plan to deliver on what people want.
The summary report, and the document showing all the responses, are now available here:
Airlie Beach Main Street 2019