Business leaders say Bay will woo southern tourists
BUSINESS leaders believe that with the right marketing, flights to Melbourne won't suffer the same ill-fate as previous services to Sydney.
They are confident our whales and dreamy climate will woo enough southern visitors in peak periods to sustain Melbourne flights all year round.
Martin Simons from Fraser Coast Tourism and Events said a number of campaigns, including showcasing the region's whale-watching, competitions and partnerships with operators were being considered.
He said while the testing of the market was well-timed, long-term sustainability would ultimately be up to the customers.
"The region needs to capitalise on it," Mr Simons said
"Demand needs to be driven by population."
Daily Virgin Australia flights to Sydney remain popular and Mr Simons said there was "similar potential" in the Melbourne market.
Hervey Bay Chamber of Commerce President Sandra Holebrook described the announcement as the "icing on a cake."
"It opens up a whole new market, for people who've never had the potential to come here," Ms Holebrook said.
"This makes it easier to offer the short stay marketed in the Bay.
"We've always talked how the Fraser Coast is a great place to spend a long weekend in winter."