Watch this space: New addition to lagoon to promote Airlie
A NEW sign on the Airlie Beach Foreshore will be more than a photo opportunity, it's a chance for the region to be shown all around the world.
The glass sign will soon be erected on Airlie Beach Lagoon headland and will be a great spot for tourists to capture a photo.
Measuring three metres long and two metres tall, the sign is the brainchild of Skal International Whitsundays, a group of like-minded tourism leaders from across the region.
Carolyn Upton, president of Skal International Whitsundays and director of Backpackers by the Bay, said the organisation was inspired to start the project by iconic signage seen in locations like Amsterdam and New York.
The sign will be constructed from steel and cyclone-proof glass, with an etched image of the iconic Heart Reef seen at Hardy Reef. It will also contain the hashtag 'heart of the reef' inside it.
"It's a project we've been working on for a while," Ms Upton said.
"There's the Airlie Beach sign as you enter the town, but it has some issues such as parking and traffic management, and it also doesn't have the beauty of Airlie Beach viewable in the photo.
"This sign will let people look through it, straight into the water with the islands behind them."
She said the sign would be an investment in tourism as, after the initial payout, it would show Airlie Beach to the world through social media for free.
She said the concept was to have tourists take their photo with the sign, location tag Airlie Beach on social media and then share to their online friends.
The money for the sign will be wholly put forward by Skal International Whitsundays, with the funds raised over a number of years through raffles, sausage sizzles and events.
Ms Upton said they were optimistic about having the sign installed at the beginning of February.
"We're really excited to have a destination sign in Airlie and we think it's a great extra addition for tourists," she said.
Whitsunday Regional Council has endorsed the project and has stated the sign would be a temporary feature and once erected it will be reviewed in 24 months.
The review would make sure the feature is successful in use, that ongoing maintenance costs are kept low and that the feature works in the proposed location.