SHOWCASING SIGHTS: Karen Rasmussen, visitor Cheryl Mountford from Adelaide, Gillian Robertson, Muff Christensen, John Scicluna, Andrew Ellis and Vince and Gloria Chay in the newly renovated Hervey Bay Visitors Centre.
SHOWCASING SIGHTS: Karen Rasmussen, visitor Cheryl Mountford from Adelaide, Gillian Robertson, Muff Christensen, John Scicluna, Andrew Ellis and Vince and Gloria Chay in the newly renovated Hervey Bay Visitors Centre. Alistair Brightman

Tourism building renovation 'live link' leads to sales

INNOVATIVE video technology will help bring tourism experiences to life in Hervey Bay's upgraded visitor information centre.

Fraser Coast Tourism and Events general manager Martin Simons said the new technology would give visitors a taste of what to expect from the region.

"In the visitor information section we have installed four new television screens connected to iPad booking devices," he said.

"The technology creates a live link with our customers about different products like whale watching or Fraser Island - after all, seeing is believing.

"We can say 'are you interested in this' and put a video on the big screen showcasing exactly what we are talking about."

As well as using footage from tour operators, FCTE is in the process of updating its video library for Fraser and Lady Elliot Islands.

Centre manager Andrew Ellis said the live link idea had been two years in the making from planning to installation.

"We have never had pre-bookings before and we are getting pre-bookings now from the RV travellers who visit on their way up the coast and will drop back in for whale season on their way down," he said.

"We ask them 'have you been whale watching before', and they say 'sure' but then I show them the video - I mean, they haven't been whale watching like this before."

 

Artist Rebecca Jane Knowles and partner Matt Shirvington with the artwork she created for the newly renovated Hervey Bay Visitors Centre.
Artist Rebecca Jane Knowles and partner Matt Shirvington with the artwork she created for the newly renovated Hervey Bay Visitors Centre. Alistair Brightman

Mr Simons said the centre was now the consolidated office for all Hervey Bay FCTE staff, previously spread across two locations.

"Visitor centres sell about $1 million of touring products and merchandise on behalf of operators and the upgrade to our major revenue centre will enable us to build on that," he said.

The three-month renovation which finished in March included a wall-length by local artist Rebecca Knowles, who spent 200 hours creating the piece.

It features well-known tourist attractions as well as the royals' visit to Fraser Island.



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