State Government’s record investment in ‘Harvey and the Humpbacks’

10 May 2013 4:05 PMJann Stuckey

Thursday, May 09, 2013

The largest ever tourism investment promoting Fraser Coast as Australia’s signature whale watching destination will make a splash when the ‘Harvey and the Humpbacks’ campaign starts in June.

Minister for Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games Jann Stuckey said the record $500,000 package included a boost for this year’s ‘Harvey and the Humpbacks’ campaign and additional support for industry development activities.

“Whale watching is an important tourism drawcard for the Fraser Coast region and this educational marketing campaign supports the exceptionally high environmental and operating standards of the Hervey Bay whale watching industry,” Ms Stuckey said.

“Hervey Bay is where the whales choose to ‘holiday’ each year from July to November, and the Fraser Coast community are recognised as industry pioneers in terms of developing world acclaimed, quality and accredited whale watching experiences for visitors.

“Each year the local industry estimate that the whale watching season attracts around 50,000 visitors to the Fraser Coast region, injecting approximately $80 million in to the local economy.

“This campaign is one of many initiatives supported by the State Government through Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ) to support destination marketing and will assist in reaching the goal of $30 billion in overnight visitor expenditure by 2020.

“The commitment includes $400,000 for this year’s ‘Harvey and the Humpbacks’ campaign – an increased campaign investment which receives support from Tourism Fraser Coast and industry.

“An additional $100,000 has also been allocated for industry development activities to enable the Fraser Coast tourism industry to maximise the benefits they receive from this marketing activity. The plan for this investment will be developed by TEQ in partnership with Tourism Fraser Coast and in close consultation with industry.”

Ms Stuckey said the ‘Harvey and Humpbacks’ concept was originally launched in 2011 to unite and promote Fraser Coast whale watching operators in a creative way, capturing the attention of Australians and encouraging them to travel to the region. “This year’s campaign will feature TV, radio, print, online and outdoor advertisements promoting the Fraser Coast whale watching season,” she said.

The Fraser Coast annually welcomes around 6,000 humpback whales which stop to play in the calm Hervey Bay waters and is therefore the perfect destination to experience one of nature’s most impressive natural encounters.

Tourism is an important industry for the Fraser Coast with 745,000 domestic and international tourists travelling to the region in 2012. Member for Hervey Bay Ted Sorensen welcomed the extra funding.

“The permit system for our whale watch operators within the Hervey Bay Marine Park remains protected,’’ Mr Sorensen said.

“With the retention of the permit system, no other whale watch operators can come into our marine park.

“We also have the benefit of an extra $200,000, compared with last year for the development and promotion of the Hervey Bay whale watch industry.’’

Locals and visitors can grab front row seats to see the humpbacks perform on the Fraser Coast from June by visiting – www.queensland.com/whales

The ‘Harvey and the Humpbacks’ campaign is coordinated by Tourism and Events Queensland, Tourism Fraser Coast, the Fraser Coast Council with the support of Fraser Coast tourism operators.

[ENDS] 9 May 2013