School children to have a whale of a time on the Fraser Coast

5 Sep 2013 2:25 PMJann Stuckey

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Students from a Gladstone school have won a trip to see the Fraser Coast’s humpback whales after taking part in the ‘Junior Whale Whisperers’ program, an initiative of the ‘Harvey and the Humpbacks’ tourism marketing campaign.

Minister for Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games Jann Stuckey said students from the Star of the Sea Catholic Primary School would head to Hervey Bay after taking part in the whale educational program.

“The Junior Whale Whisperers program campaign rolled out in schools within driving distance of the Fraser Coast, with 300 students learning about the annual humpback whale migration from the region’s whale-watching tourism operators,” Ms Stuckey said.

“The grade six students won the trip after taking out top honours in an art competition and will travel to the region to see the whales first-hand in mid-September.”

The Junior Whale Whisperers program forms part of the Harvey and the Humpbacks tourism campaign, which is coordinated by Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ), Fraser Coast Opportunities and the Fraser Coast Regional Council with the support of Fraser Coast tourism operators from June to October.

The campaign, which incorporates print, outdoor and digital advertising, has also generated extensive national publicity and included themed Harvey the Humpback whale appearances at Brisbane’s Central Station and the Ekka, raising awareness of the region as Queensland’s signature whale watch destination.

“We are seeing some good results so far with the campaign website attracting more than 45,000 unique website visits and thousands of leads to industry to date,” Ms Stuckey said.

State Member for Hervey Bay, Ted Sorensen said the local whale watching industry were proud of the support that TEQ had shown to the industry through this year’s whale season.

“Early indications are that Fraser Coast whale-watching operators are reporting lots of great sighting and interactions with the whales and are looking forward to a strong school holiday period,” Mr Sorensen said.

Also visiting the region as part of Tourism Australia’s Global Youth Campaign is Queensland’s Best Job in the World Park Ranger Elisa Detrez.

“Elisa will spend time on the Fraser Coast working alongside experienced local guides and tourism operators to showcase the region’s natural attractions and experiences, including the thrill of whale watching, to a global audience via her website and social media,” Ms Stuckey said.

“These activities have been designed to encourage more visitors to the Fraser Coast and help grow annual overnight visitor expenditure in Queensland from $15 billion to $30 billion by 2020.”

[ENDS] 5 September 2013