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PCOs island-hop in the Whitsundays

Seven New Zealand PCOs experienced a four-day educational visit to the Whitsundays Islands from May 29 to June 1, during a famil hosted by Business Events Australia, Tourism Whitsundays and Qantas. The Whitsundays is an archipelago in the Great Barrier Reef made up of 74 islands and the group stayed overnight on Hamilton Island, Daydream Island and Hayman Island.

Tourism Whitsundays has ‘gained good ground’ in the last 18 months following the battles brought with the north Queensland floods and the two devastating cyclones that effected the region, with the convention bureau seeing a 300% increase in conference and incentive leads in 2011-2012 compared to 2010-2011. Tourism Whitsunday’s business events manager Tamara Pidcock sees ‘great potential for growth’ from the New Zealand MICE market and promoted the region's prime conference and incentive product, including Hamilton Island's five-star premium luxury property qualia, four-star Reef View Hotel, and boutique beachfront resort Beach Club, as well as post-cyclone restored Hayman, Australia's most awarded five-star resort, and Daydream Island Resort & Spa. The group also dined at Hamilton Island Yacht Club and received a tour of Australia's only championship island golf course on Dent Island.

Tamara Pidcock of Tourism Whitsundays demonstrated that the area still has a lot to offer during less than ideal weather, by coordinating a private group cooking lesson with Hayman executive chef Glenn Bacon when rough sailing weather meant that the planned visit to famous Whitehaven Beach via a sailing activity on the Banjo Patterson could not go ahead.

Full coverage of the famil will be in the August issue of TRAVELinc.

'Optimus Prime', a local joey from Wildlife Hamilton Island gets the attention of (from left to right) Marcus Taylor, Beach Club; Victoria Wales, HOT Events; Tamara Pidcock, Tourism Whitsundays Dining at the Hamilton Island Yacht Club on the group's first night Awaiting their helicopter transfer on Hamilton Island Golf Club: Karen Hamilton, 360 Degree Events; Stephanie Kohlhase, Extra Mile Company; Bonnie Lynch, Carlson Wagonlit Travel; Cate Reed, Tourism Australia; Victoria Wales, HOT Events; Julie Ford, Hamilton Island; Julia Clancy, Eden Event Management; Chris Bailey, Hamilton Island Golf Club; Lynn Barlow, GO C+I; Amanda Hall, Tourism Australia; Tamara Pidcock, Tourism Whitsundays; Robyn Bradley, 110 Percent
Island hoppers, from Dent Island to Daydream: Stephanie Kohlhase, Extra Mile Company; Amanda Hall and Cate Reed, Tourism Australia; Karen Hamilton, 360 Degree Events Daydream Island from the air Lunch at Daydream Island Spa & Resort, the group with executive chef Bret Hanson
Daydream owner Vaughn Bullivant's apartment doubles as an area for private dining. The group dines with CEO Phil Casey (front left), executive sous chef Cameron Morrison and business development manager Karen Maher (back right).
Karen Hamilton of 360 Degree Events holds a baby bamboo shark that falls asleep once out of the water, at Daydream Island's Living Reef Bonnie Lynch of Carlson Wagonlit Travel experiences the Living Reef first hand during a feeding session with tropical fish
The iconic Hayman pool still looks impressive on a cloudy day Enjoying a group cooking lesson with Hayman executive chef Glenn Bacon: Amanda Hall, Tourism Australia, Victoria Wales, HOT Events and Julia Clancy, Eden Event Management
Julia Clancy, Eden Event Management and Hayman executive chef Glenn Bacon prepare the chicken and exotic mushroom risotto for the group's lunch
Hayman pastry chef Ronnie Cuenca prepares the 'raspberry and cream implosion' dessert 'Raspberry and cream implosion' - the white chocolate domes literally implode when a hot raspberry coulis is poured on top to reveal cheese cake, ice cream and pop rocks within the dome Stephanie Kohlhase, Extra Mile Company (front), Amanda Hall, Tourism Australia and Karen Hamilton, 360 Degree Events are wowed by another Hayman treat, an igloo with a citrus sorbet palette cleanser inside to enjoy prior to dessert
During a flyover of the famous Great Barrier Reef the group saw Heart Reef, the most photographed of the natural attraction View from a Reef View Hotel suite onto Catseye Beach

Bidding farewell to Hayman: Stephanie Kohlhase, Extra Mile Company; Bonnie Lynch, Carlson Wagonlit Travel; Julia Clancy, Eden Event Management; Robyn Bradley, 110 Percent; Lynn Barlow, GO C+I; Cate Reed, Tourism Australia; Dean Walsh and Melissa Little, Hayman; Amanda Hall, Tourism Australia; Tamara Pidcock, Tourism Whitsundays; Victoria Wales, HOT Events; Karen Hamilton, 360 Degree Events

Famils

www.itcma.com

www.aime.com.au

www.conventionsnz.co.nz

www.siteglobal.com