WHALE SUMMIT: World's leading experts coming to Coast
WE'RE known as the whale watching capital of the world.
Now, we've got the chance to prove we deserve the title.
The Fraser Coast has been chosen as the destination for two of the world's leading whale summits, set to attract more than 200 marine experts from across the globe.
Hosted by Fraser Coast Tourism and Events and the World Cetacean Alliance, one of the world's leading marine conservation groups, the World Whale Conference and Whale Heritage Sites Summit will be held from October 7-11 next year.
The summits will attract a mix of scientists, conservationists, educators and whale watch operators from all over the world.
With the theme Journeys that Inspire Change, topics will include promoting sustainable whale and dolphin tourism and maximising the power of cetaceans to inspire people to protect the ocean.
Fraser Coast Tourism and Events General Manager Martin Simons said winning the right to host the events presented exciting opportunities for the region.
"It's a chance for delegates to see for themselves that Hervey Bay is one of the best places in the world to watch humpback whales," Mr Simons said.
"They'll be here to learn about work already under way to protect whales and dolphins and share ideas, evidence and information on best practice."
During the summits, visitors will also enjoy tours of natural regional attractions including Fraser Island, Lady Elliot Island and the Great Sandy Biosphere.
Hervey Bay is the only place in the world where humpback whales take a rest period and teach their calves life lessons within its sheltered waters but in recent years companies across the east coast have tried to steal our crown.
More than 33,000 whales are expected to pass through the region, enjoying it's warmer winter waters, this year.
Tourism councillor Stuart Taylor said the summits were an important fit in the region's commitment to eco-tourism and marine conservation.
"Tourism is an important economic driver and safeguarding our natural assets so they can continue to be enjoyed by future generations... is of paramount importance," Cr Taylor said.