“There are plenty of reasons to be very optimistic about the future of tourism in Townsville and the region.
With the reputation of Magnetic Island rapidly on the rise as one of the most quintessential laid back tropical island getaways in Australia, its draw for international and domestic visitors continues to grow year on year.
Other signs that tourism’s future looks bright and will play an important role in supporting the economic future of Townsville is the renewed confidence in tourism related projects across the city. The extensive redevelopment works at ‘The Ville’ being undertaken by the Colonial Leisure Group, the announcement of Hilton Hotel’s 175 bed Double Tree property to be built alongside the new Stadium, SeaLink and the Honeycombe Property Group’s plans for a new $56 million marine tourism precinct, $3 million in funding already secured for a Museum of Underwater Art, growth in cruise ship visitation and direct flights between Melbourne and Townsville swelling our visitor numbers to name a few.
The diversity of tourism experiences on offer within the region rivals any destination.
The charm and history of Charters Towers, the tranquil beauty of Paluma National Park encompassing Crystal Creek, Jourama Falls and Hidden Valley, the family magnet that is The Strand, and of course our iconic islands; Magnetic Island and the Palm Island group, which are all on our doorstep.
When it comes to tours and activities we have some of Australia’s best diving on the wreck of the Yongala and on our local reefs, tours to Orpheus Island and Cape Cleveland Lighthouse. There’s also whale watching, sky diving, jet skiing, sailing, fishing, mountain biking, museums, aquariums, great restaurants, markets, galleries, wildlife parks, indigenous culture, military history and a whole host of other unique North Queensland adventures.
Townsville is also one of the best event destinations in Queensland with iconic events including Magnetic Island Race Week, Townsville’s Running and Triathlon Festivals, Multisport, Fashion and Cultural events, the Australian Festival of Chamber Music and of course the Townville 400 Supercar weekend. These events and many more within the region are all major drawcards for visitors.
On the back of increasing airline seating capacity with Tiger Air, last year’s influx of Victorians was great to see and with a little collaboration there are significant visitor numbers waiting to be drawn from Sydney, across New South Wales and South East Queensland, especially in the winter months when our region really shines.
With so much to do and see it is no wonder many of our first time visitors to Magnetic Island say to our vessel crew ‘why didn’t I know about this place earlier’ and ‘I had no idea about how good this island is’. Most rewarding is the often-repeated visitor comments of ‘see you next year’ and ‘we’ll be back’ and from the locals we hear ‘it’s so good to leave the mainland worries behind’ and ‘why have I left it so long’.
So with tourism poised to make a growing contribution to Townsville’s economy, make sure you don’t leave it too long to reacquaint your family and friends with what is on offer in the region and on Magnetic Island and most importantly, be sure to tell everyone just how good North Queensland really is.”
Words by Chris Briggs – General Manager, SeaLink