Among the panel, Tourism Whitsundays CEO Craig Turner revealed occupancy on the mainland is already sitting at around 50 to 60% on average since the cyclone, adding numbers were tracking back quickly.
He says 13 weekly flights had been added to the Whitsundays before the disaster, bringing the total number of flights to 65. The load factor has fallen from around 89% prior to the Cyclone to about 65%, but Turner expects numbers to quickly return.
‘We will see those numbers back in two to three months. It’s ambitious but we need to be ambitious, and we will go hard to achieve that.’
Hamilton Island CEO Glenn Bourke revealed occupancy bounced back last week to around 85% from 25%, acknowledging the work of its 1200 staff in getting the destination back on its feet.
Meanwhile, a number of resorts are coming back with improved product, including Hamilton Island’s Qualia Resort, which reopens on 1 July, and Hayman Island has its sights on a mid-2018 return to the market.
Jane Hermann from Daydream Island revealed an A$50 million refurbishment of the complex has been brought forward. It will be a much more contemporary offering for visitors, she says, and will open its doors during mid-2018.