Past Media Releases

Whitsundays welcomes new Qantas service with passengers bound for One&Only Hayman Island

02 July 2014

In a major show of confidence in the state’s tourism industry, the Whitsundays are today giving a warm Queensland welcome to the first passengers travelling on Qantas’ new Sydney – Hamilton Island service.

The launch of the service coincides with the opening of a new luxury resort in the islands, One&Only Hayman Island.

Visitor spending in the region grew by 14 per cent to $706 million last year and Acting Minister for Tourism Tracy Davis said the Whitsundays’ future was looking even brighter thanks to the latest investments in its thriving tourism sector.

“Qantas’ decision to commence two return weekly services between Sydney and Hamilton Island will open the skies to more than 10,000 additional visitors a year,” Ms Davis said.

“Both Qantas and resort operator One&Only clearly believe the future’s bright for tourism in Queensland and I certainly agree with 

“The Queensland Government’s 20-year plan for tourism, Destination Success, outlines the need to deliver quality experiences that delight customers – and that’s exactly what’s happening today in the Whitsundays.

“We have a strong plan for a brighter future and we’re working hard to achieve our goal of doubling annual overnight visitor expenditure to $30 billion by 2020.”

The refurbished Hayman Island is One&Only’s first resort in the Asia Pacific region. The island is owned by Mulpha Australia and managed by Kerzner International.

Local Member Jason Costigan said the Whitsundays was experiencing a tourism revival with visitor numbers increasing seven per cent to 687,000 last year.

“This is the beginning of an exciting new tourism era for a place that I call Paradise with increased access into the region and the opening of the new luxury One&Only resort,” Mr Costigan said.

“My electorate warmly welcomes visitors to our magnificent backyard and the support they will give to local businesses,” he said.
Qantas Domestic CEO Lyell Strambi said Qantas and Queensland shared a close relationship which was strengthened by today’s arrival.

“Sydney is the gateway to Australia for millions of Qantas passengers every year. These passengers can now enjoy direct access to one of the country’s most iconic holiday destinations,” he said.

“Our new service also gives these customers a premium aviation product to complement Jetstar’s existing flights as part of our two-brand strategy.”

Kerzner International CEO Alan Leibman said the organisation was excited to begin welcoming guests to One&Only Hayman Island.

“The combination of this incredible private island in the Great Barrier Reef, the significant investment of $80 million made by our fantastic partners, Mulpha Australia and our own One&Only team dedicated to providing guests with amazing experiences through our unique brand of service, represents an exciting addition to the luxury Australian travel market,” Mr Leibman said.

“We are confident that the new One&Only experience will bring more Australians and international guests alike to the Great Barrier Reef.”

[ENDS] 2 July 2014

Media Contacts: 
Minister Stuckey’s office: 3719 7240 / 0408 410 930
Whitsunday’s electorate office: 4945 3343