Business is looking strong for the Whitsundays in 2015 with plenty of new product.

Just a month or so into 2015, Whitsundays Marketing and Development business events manager, Anne-Marie Coulton is already excited at the year ahead for the region.

Ms Coulton said it was a real coup for Hamilton Island to be hosting this year’s Meetings & Events Australia national conference (May 24-7), with the potential of up to 600 business event trade and clients participating.

Directly following the meeting, the Whitsundays bureau will be running a famil, giving delegates the opportunity to see more of the region than simply Hamilton.

The destination also plays host to Corroboree China in 2015. While it is predominantly a famil program for travel agents, there are reportedly many travel agents in China who dabble in the business event sector, Ms Coulton said.

If they’re lucky they may get to see and experience the all-new One&Only Hayman Island which underwent a multi-million dollar revitalisation in 2014.

As part of the upgrade, rooms were reduced from 209 to 160 to create additional suite accommodation. The resort’s pool wing was redeveloped with rooms on the upper floors transformed into stylish one and two- bedroom suites.

The adults only pool area is now resplendent with day beds and cabanas, and the entire resort has a fresh and stylish feel to it. (Read more on page 22-3 of this edition.)

In other Whitsundays news:

  • Palm Bay is open for business! The unexpected closure of BreakFree Long Island and the cancellation of its ferry service is not stopping Palm Bay Resort which is keen to reassure clients and PCOs they are open for business. Palm Bay is in the process of purchasing its own vessel to provide transfers from Shute. All enquiries can be directed to the resort on 0477 770 133 or
  • Whitsunday Segway Tours is a great new product for events. Riders segway through the spectacular Conway National Park rainforest along the Whitsunday Great Walk. Surrounded by lush rainforest and flowing streams, experienced guides share interpretive commentary, highlighting the local flora and fauna and points of interest during the 9km round journey.
  • Whitsunday Jetski Tours is an exciting adventure tour operator offering guided jetski tours from Airlie Beach to the Whitsunday Islands. Guests enjoy the thrill of riding their own jetski into the world heritage Whitsunday Island Marine Park on the morning ‘Airlie Adventure’ or afternoon ‘Daydream Extreme’ tour. Both tours are ideally suited to groups of up to 16 people.
  • Ocean Rafting Whitsundays’ new vessel, Joyride, is due to arrive in February and will be cruising the Whitsunday waters soon after, increasing Ocean Rafting’s existing fleet to five. Joyride is a sister ship to Ocean Rafting’s largest 12 metre vessel, Thunderstruck, and will carry up to 32 guests on daily adventures to Whitehaven Beach.  With five vessels, Ocean Rafting offers the perfect private charter option for groups of 10 -140 delegates wanting to see as much of the Whitsundays as possible in one day!
  • Hamilton Island is really excited to show off its new developments with the upcoming MEA conference scheduled for May. Recent refurbishments include the Reef View Hotel foyer, Beach Club, Endeavour Room, Conference Centre foyer and a new permanent bar and deck at One Tree Hill – a perfect spot for sunset drinks.
  • Coral Sea Resort is offering special mid-week conferencing rates from February – June 2015, for all new bookings for that period.
  • Palm House at BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort, opened at the end of 2014 and offers a multi-faceted function space set amidst tropical gardens. From smaller breakout meeting areas, multiple conference spaces, a large themed dinner with 170 sit-down or a conference and cocktail party for up to 250 guests, it is one of the most versatile facilities in the Whitsundays.