Tourism minister Jan Jarratt on board the Blue Dolphin with (from left) Virginia and Jason Brigden from Whalesong and Peter and Jodie Lynch from the Blue Dolphin.
Tourism minister Jan Jarratt on board the Blue Dolphin with (from left) Virginia and Jason Brigden from Whalesong and Peter and Jodie Lynch from the Blue Dolphin. Alistair Brightman Fratour

Harvey to boost whale season

IT HAS been launched with all the hype of a headlining rock band tour and Fraser Coast tourism operators hope the new whale- watching campaign will be the ticket to a sellout season.

As business owners throughout New South Wales and Queensland try to capitalise on the humpback east coast migration the region's operators have joined together to tell the world what locals already know – Hervey Bay is the only place where you can get front row seats to the sanctuary where the whales stay and play for almost four months.

To get that message across the operators and industry leaders have thrown big bucks behind the campaign which pushes close encounters with “Harvey and the Humpbacks – Live on tour July to November”.

In the coming weeks the advertising campaign will feature in newspapers and magazines around the country.

On July 7, during the winter school holidays, Hervey Bay's name will be in lights in Brisbane's Queen St Mall.

Campaign mascot Harvey will be available for photo opportunities with families who will be treated to dancing lessons and face painting promoting the whale-watching season.

Tourism Fraser Coast CEO Damien Massingham said that in the five years he had been working with the board, he had never been involved in such intense advertising activity.

Even Tourism Minister Jan Jarratt is on board.

The Whitsundays MP launched the campaign at the Hervey Bay Marina yesterday following her speech at the annual Tourism Fraser Coast Forum.

“Unlike anywhere else in the country, these safe, calm and warm waters are where the whales stay a little longer,” Ms Jarratt said

“It's the perfect destination to experience one of nature's most awe- inspiring shows.”

Following the forum Ms Jarratt met with crews from the Blue Dolphin and Whalesong whale-watching companies who have both built brand new vessels just in time for this season.

WHALE FACTS

Whale-watching season runs from mid July to early November

Every year more than 60,000 domestic and international visitors flock to the Fraser Coast during whale season

About $80 million is injected into the region during whale season

Almost $500,000 has been spent on the latest whale- watching advertising campaign

An estimated 15,000 humpbacks now join the annual east-coast migration

They weigh about 40 tonne



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