Wilson Island will reopen on November 1. Images on and around the island.
Wilson Island will reopen on November 1. Images on and around the island.

$500k marketing blitz to lure EU tourists to GBR

A MARKETING blitz worth more than $500,000 is intended to lure European tourists to escape the Northern Hemisphere winter with a holiday at the Great Barrier Reef.

The State Government campaign aims to reach tens of millions of people throughout Europe via print and digital promotions of Reef holidays.

State tourism minister Kate Jones said strong partnerships with reef-based regional tourism organisations, including Gladstone Area Promotions Development Limited and councils had supported the marketing push.

She said the campaign would target international travellers looking for adventurous holidays where they could swim, snorkel, walk through national parks, encounter wildlife and connect with nature.

"Being able to market vibrant images of Great Barrier Reef regions against snowy backdrops is a wonderful way to jolt Europeans ... to book a Queensland holiday," she said.

During the official reopening of Wilson Island this month general manager Tony Barradale said Aldesta hoped to target the lucrative European market.

Sales and Marketing Manager Karen Sweeney and Aldesta Hotels Australia vice president and Wilson and Heron Island general manger Tony Barradale on Wilson Island.
Sales and Marketing Manager Karen Sweeney and Aldesta Hotels Australia vice president and Wilson and Heron Island general manger Tony Barradale on Wilson Island.

The island, 15km from Heron Island, was reopened as an exclusive adults-only holiday destination, accommodating a maximum of 18 guests.

He said he expected the new Southern Great Barrier Reef experience would be popular with Europeans.

"We had a couple who were in Australia for two weeks and they only came to see the ... Reef," Mr Barradale said.

 

Wilson Island reopened on November 1.
Wilson Island reopened on November 1.

"They're particularly concerned about the environment and they wanted to come here and see the condition of the reef, and after they went in they all said 'Wow'.

"Now they will go back and tell their friends about it."

Gladstone MP Glenn Butcher said the campaigns would give a great boost to the region's tourism industry.

"We're investing in this industry to bring more people to Gladstone which supports local businesses," he said.

The Great Barrier Reef generates $6 billion a year in direct economic activity and supports 59,000 full-time jobs.