Showing off our best assets
GLADSTONE will see up to 10,000 passengers a year come through our region in six visits to our port.
Gladstone Area Promotion and Development CEO Glenn Churchill said the long-time dream had become a reality, and now we had to get serious and organise our tour operators and businesses.
He said in the short term a third-party operator would be brought in to help professionally orchestrate activities, while GAPDL would hold a roadshow in October to show off the region.
"Our role is to ensure we could make visitors feel welcome and that's possible," he said.
Mr Churchill said it was now up to Gladstone residents and businesses to be proud of what the city has and advocate it.
"We need them to do and see and experience things in our region so they become testimonials for others to travel, we have a responsibility to build our capacity," he said.
"Do we get them on a harbour tour? On a sea plane? Down to Seventeen Seventy?"
Mr Churchill said tour operator Bob Woods, who was currently preparing the Gold Coast for the Commonwealth Games, would provide professional expertise for business owners and organisations in the region.
"If they come in looking to spend eight to 10 hours there's no reason they can't go down to Seventeen Seventy or Kroombit Tops," he said.
"Not everybody will want to get off the boat. But if we are the region of choice we need to give these people a choice."
He said Port Lincoln, Kangaroo Island and Busselton had already been successful "new destinations" that had seen tourism boom.
"If we as a city, region, community, can grow this product and provide those choices and experiences - and let's not discount Heron Island - we could see similar success," he said.
"Getting them here is wonderful. It hasn't been easy because Glads is well known for massive industrial development, but this is a string in our bow.
"We're wanting to tag Gladstone city to become the first city in Australia to become a vessel-friendly city and we need to do that because of the value of our harbour."
When we asked you want highlights you'd show off to tourists, you came back with a multitude of ideas.
Jennie Jensen said there were nice places to visit, but she'd also show off the town's industry.
"Gladstone is here because it's got the biggest port and industries," she said. "In terms of nice places to go, the winery's great and the botanic gardens too. "We also take people to the lookouts when they're visiting, so we can show them how everything has grown."
Nicholas Chamos said visitors should definitely see how the industry works.
"The new pool is great, as well as the botanic gardens and maritime museum," he said. "Agnes Water also, if there is time."
Getting active is what it's about for Ryan Lennon.
"Climb Mt Larcom, if you can," he said. "It's pretty good when you get up there. The view's big, and beautiful. Tannum Beach is another great spot, and Awoonga Dam is one of Australia's biggest."
Khy Prinz-Quinlan found it surprising that a cruise ship would stop here.
"Gladstone's just an industrial town - there's not really a lot here," he said.
"You could go out to the reef and there's also a few places around like Kroombit Tops, which is great for bushwalking.
"Mum lives on a property, so we go out there and ride motorbikes on the weekends. People can do that if they want a taste of the real Gladstone."
Marina Karamatsou said the botanic gardens were great, as well as the marina and Tannum Sands.