Staff at Whitsunday Gold Coffee are excited to be welcoming the new Visitor Information Centre, which will be officially launched on February 13. Pictured are Nadia Knight and Kim Cluness.
Staff at Whitsunday Gold Coffee are excited to be welcoming the new Visitor Information Centre, which will be officially launched on February 13. Pictured are Nadia Knight and Kim Cluness.

Centre to lure visitors to region

A NEW Visitor Information Centre (VIC) will hopefully lure more visitors to the region.

Located at the Whitsunday Gold Coffee Plantation, on the Bruce Highway, the VIC will offer help and advice to visitors on booking tours, trips and accommodation, once it’s fully up and running.

It is hoped the VIC, which will be officially launched at Tourism Whitsundays’ monthly networking event, on Thursday, February 13, will encourage more people to turn off the highway and experience all the wonders of the Whitsundays.

Tourism is worth $671m to the Whitsundays economy – almost a quarter of the region’s gross regional product – and supports 6,300 jobs, more than one third of employment in the region.

The opening of the VIC comes on top of strong growth for the Whitsundays from the domestic visitation market, which was up 3.5 per cent in the year from October 2018 to September 2019, compared to the same period the previous year.

“Our focus at Tourism Whitsundays, over the next five months, is on driving as many people in Australia to the Whitsundays as possible,” Tourism Whitsundays CEO Tash Wheeler said.

“Tourism Whitsundays will do this through dedicated campaigns and targeted marketing and PR.”

The Queensland Government has announced that stage two of the ‘Wonders of the Whitsundays’ tourism campaign will run this year, following the success of stage one last year, which ran in the key markets of Sydney and Melbourne, as well as across Queensland, delivering more than 2,000 holiday bookings and $3.53m in sales to Whitsundays tourism operators.

Stage two of the campaign will build on the awareness already generated, through out-of-home advertising, social media, digital and search, as well as content partnerships with relevant travel brands, and will be the first time the region’s new branding is taken to market.

Everyone is invited to the launch of the VIC, which starts at 6pm. Special guests will include Mayor Andrew Willcox and Shadow Minister for Environment, Science and the Great Barrier Reef and Shadow Minister for Tourism, David Crisafulli.

Members of Tourism Whitsundays and Proserpine Chamber of Commerce receive free entry and non-members are welcome at $25 a person including two complimentary drinks and nibbles.

Nikki Phillips, who owns Whitsunday Gold Coffee, said she was thrilled to have the VIC at the farm.

“The knowledge and expertise of our region will be at the crossroads of the Whitsundays and greater area,” she said.

“What a bonus!”.

Whitsunday Gold Coffee re-opened its doors at the start of 2019, after being closed for almost two years as a result of Tropical Cyclone Debbie.

Since then, the coffee plantation has transformed to include a fully licensed bar, a restaurant, children’s play area, wishing fountain, Bellagio-style fountain and an aviary.