Heritage and hinterland may be part of new tourism focus

THE Fraser Coast should consider marketing itself around the Great Sandy Strait and Fraser Island, and its heritage and hinterland regions to maximise its tourism appeal.

Those are the recommendations of a report that revealed whale watching was worth to the economy up to $68 million less than the $80 million previously thought.

Tourism and regional marketing councillor Stuart Taylor began putting the report together in late 2013 with the help of Tourism and Events Queensland and other groups.

He said now the correct worth of whale watching to the region had been identified it was time for the industry and community to discuss the future of tourism and how the region should be marketed.

"What (the report) is saying is there's 50,000 people who come to the Fraser Coast to whale watch," Cr Taylor said.

"We have 1.38 million people who visit the region for tourism-related matters. So if you look at it objectively that's around the 3.6% of tourism visitors come for whale watching."

Cr Taylor's report also revealed that just 3.12% of people who whale watch in Australia do so in the Fraser Coast.

It said recent destination plans and strategies for the Fraser Coast have centred on promoting whale watching and Fraser Island.

He suggested it might be time for broader campaigns which promote the Great Sandy Strait and Fraser Island, and our heritage and hinterland attractions.

Suggestions include: whales, dolphins, dugongs and turtles, world class fishing, Hervey Bay beaches, Portside Precinct stately colonial buildings with pubs, restaurants, museums and art.

Other suggestions included quirky heritage and ghost tours, birthplace of PL Travers - author of Mary Poppins - and more.

Cr Taylor said he is not saying this is what the new approach should reflect but has offered it as a suggestion. He wants comment from the industry and the community.

The Whitsundays Example

  • The objective is to be 'globally recognised as one of the world's leading tropical island and marine leisure holiday destinations through the '74 island wonders'

Topics:  economy fraser coast tourism whale watching

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