Tourism Whitsundays is working tirelessly to promote the region to MICE visitors after last year’s wild weather softened bookings and tarnished perceptions of the region.
Approximately 50% of Queensland was flooded by tropical cyclone Tasha which tore through the state in December 2010. Event bookings in the Whitsunday islands also took a dive as international visitors opted to avoid the damage.
Tourism Whitsundays business events manager Tamara Pidcock said the flow on effects have had a devastating effect on the region.
“The last twelve months has left all of Queensland tarred with the same brush, especially within the international space. Some visitors thought the whole area was underwater,” she told The Nibbler.
But Pidcock remained optimistic the region would make a full recovery, noting that booking inquiries have increased 200% on the last financial year.
“Our recovery is going really well thanks to recent refurbishments and efforts to build awareness and engage in long-term prospects with buyers,” she said.
But efforts to engage with meetings and events businesses still have room for improvement, Pidcock added.
“The Whitsundays is known as a leisure destination, but not so much for the MICE market. It is challenging to change this perception, especially for conferences,” she said.
Pidcock said a recent restructure of the Whitsundays convention bureau had improved bookings by targeting meetings and events businesses.
“We are seeing an increase of leads through the convention bureau, and are up on last financial year. But for now, our focus is promoting that we are back and open for business,” she concluded.
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