Top season on Fraser Coast after surge of whale sightings

25 Nov 2013 3:13 PMJann Stuckey

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Fraser Coast tourism operators have reported a bumper whale-watching season with both humpbacks and tourists migrating to the destination this year, providing another boost to the local economy.

Tourism Minister Jann Stuckey said operators participating in the ‘Harvey and the Humpbacks’ tourism campaign reported an overall 26 per cent increase in passenger numbers during the season.

“The whales have put on an impressive show this year with dozens of humpback sightings reported,” Ms Stuckey said.

“The strong results are impressive and show that the Fraser Coast is the home of the whale watching experience.

This year the Newman Government invested a record $500,000 to support the Harvey and the Humpbacks marketing campaign from June to October, coordinated by Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ), Fraser Coast Opportunities and the Fraser Coast Regional Council.

“The campaign was a great success with more than 62,000 unique website visits to (external site) ( ) and more than 12,000 leads generated to industry,” she said.

“The tourism industry across Queensland suffered neglect from Labor, but under the Newman Government, with campaigns like this, the industry is getting the attention it deserves.”

Member for Hervey Bay Ted Sorensen said the 2013 whale watching season was a boost to the region with tourists flocking to get a glimpse of the whales.

“The Fraser Coast region was abuzz over the whale season, cementing our reputation as the home of whale watching,” Mr Sorensen said.

“The strong results are a testament to the Newman Government’s prioritisation of tourism as one of the four pillars of the Queensland economy, signified through the ‘Harvey and the Humpbacks’ campaign.”

Fraser Coast Opportunities General Manager David Spear said that the 2013 Harvey and the Humpbacks campaign had been one of the region’s most successful to date, with the increased emphasis on publicity playing a key role.

“Gaining exposure through leading national television programs such as 60 Minutes has and will continue to play a key role in cementing Hervey Bay’s reputation as the number one whale-watching destination in the world,” Mr Spear said.

“This campaign also demonstrates the significant benefit of working in partnership with the State Government and industry, and we look forward to continuing this partnership in working towards achieving our visitor expenditure targets for 2020.”

Ms Stuckey said that growth such as this would help the Newman Government reach its goal to double overnight visitor expenditure from $15 billion to $30 billion by 2020.