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.
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