Operators prepare to open with safety precautions in place
EXCITING times are ahead as some of the region's largest tourism operators look to reopen.
After spending 50 days in caretaker mode, Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort will reopen to the public on June 13.
Managing director Peter Gash said he was excited to showcase multiple renovation projects at the resort to guests when they reopen next month.
"It is so difficult to put into words how incredibly thankful we are for our amazing team," Mr Gash said.
"They have kept the resort ticking and the business running over the past two months and we are truly grateful to call them our friends and family."
The eco resort will initially reopen for overnight guests within the 250km travel guidelines and from four departure points including Bundaberg, Brisbane (Redcliffe), Gold Coast and Hervey Bay.
Day Trips from Bundaberg and Hervey Bay will also be available with reduced guest numbers for day tours.
Activities such as diving and tours will also be offered, while continuing to adhere to social distancing restrictions.
The resort's management team have developed a COVIDSafe plan, ensuring all operations comply with the Queensland Health guidelines.
For this reason and until restrictions are lifted entirely, the resort will be operating at 50 per cent bed capacity.
Just in time for whale season, which runs from mid-May through to October, visitors will have the chance to have get up close and personal with humpback whales on scenic flights, the glass-bottom boat or while snorkelling and diving on the beaches of the island, where whales are usually heard singing.
Mr Gash said thanked the community for their ongoing support and efforts to self-isolate during the pandemic, allowing the tourism operator to open next month.
"This has been a challenging year for all of us but it has also given us a wonderful opportunity to explore our own backyard and we urge all Australians to support your local tourism operators," he said.
"From the bottom of our hearts, we (The Gash family) wish to thank all of our loyal guests and followers who have showed their support for us during this time."
Also set to reopen next month is the Lady Musgrave Experience with reef tours available from the 13th and whale watching tours from July 4.
Lady Musgrave Experience spokesman Scott Emms said the tourism operator are looking at the initial limit of 100 people, with the number set to increase once the State Government relax restrictions further.
He said the business was also looking forward to welcoming guests to Bundaberg from other parts of Australia once travel restrictions were lifted.
"Lady Musgrave Experience is a host of amazing day tour options for guests with our magnificent day tour on the Reef Empress, snorkelling, our huge range of scuba diving experiences, swimming with turtles, glass bottom boat tours, guided island walks, be a marine biologist for a day and reef keeper programs," he said.
"The best whale watching experience in Queensland is also starting on July 4 and we will be releasing more information on the amazing new pontoon destined for the Lady Musgrave Lagoon."
During the temporary closure, the team at Lady Musgrave Experience have been working hard to clean, service and update the vessels used by the tourism operator, as well as preparing for new and exciting developments.
"We have placed a lot of focus on our website experience for guests, as it is here they get a lot of great information on the Great Barrier Reef out of Bundaberg and we have some exciting new developments progressing in this space too," Mr Emms said.
"When guests travel and go out on the Lady Musgrave Experience, they stay locally in Bundaberg, shop at our shops, eat in our restaurants and essentially bring more money into the local economy.
Mr Emms said it was more important than ever to get the word out about the incredible local attractions in the region, including the Lady Musgrave Experience, Bundaberg Rum factory and Mon Repos turtles among others.
To make a booking, visit ladyelliot.com.au or ladymusgraveexperience.com.au.