Development group prepare for Pacific Jewel
TRANSPORT, shade, traffic and seating have all been flagged as "teething issues" for Gladstone's newest tourism industry.
The Pacific Jewel will arrive in Gladstone this Sunday, the second cruise liner to dock in our port after years of planning and campaigning.
The "trial run" on Thursday was undeniably a success as East Shores became a hive of activity teeming with tourists and hundreds of locals.
But there was also long waits for city tours, traffic issues on Auckland Hill where residents were blocked into their driveways and not enough toilets for volunteers.
Now Gladstone Area Promotion Development Limited has a chance to rectify the issues, and test the solutions, with another 2,000 passengers arriving on this week.
GAPDL CEO Darryl Branthwaite, who has inherited responsibility for the biggest project his organisation has ever tackled from the previous CEO Glenn Churchill, said some problems were expected.
Already more mini buses have been organised and there's been a call out to members to help with more shade and seating.
"There were other ideas raised too, such as putting ambassadors at the shopping centres where the passengers were," Mr Branthwaite said.
"But we've decided not to do that."
"We're also advising people Spinnaker Park is probably the best vantage point to see the ship coming in and that should resolve some of the issues on Auckland Hill."
This Sunday Queensland Tourism Minister Kate Jones will be part of the civic ceremony welcoming P&O passengers to Gladstone.
Mr Branthwaite is hoping residents will be as supportive as they were last week.
"Instantly, you could feel there was a sense of pride restored in residents here who were proud that people were coming to see their town," Mr Branthwaite said.
"We're just hoping this weekend is as successful."
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