Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Hello world, it's Queensland. I'm open for business.

Tounge Bay, Hill Inlet and Whitehaven Beach - Whitsundays
(Photo: Tourism Queensland)
It has been a long time between blog posts for me, I’ll admit. Some of it has been the usual pre-Christmas craziness and the post-holiday laziness – but the rest is because the state I live in, Queensland, Australia, has been inundated by devastating, mind-blowing flooding.

I consider myself very lucky because; firstly, I live at least an hour’s drive from the state’s capital - Brisbane - where some very damaging and widespread flooding occurred, and almost two hours from the regional areas struck by incredible flash flooding (you may have seen those pictures on the news). Secondly, my house wasn’t flooded. But many, many were. It has been an awful and life-changing experience for hundreds of thousands of people.

But this post is not about the tragedy of the flooding – it is about what you (as an avid traveller/blogger/ordinary person/friend who does me a favour and reads my blog) can do to help. Please come and visit Queensland. Help the Queensland tourism industry (which contributes $9.2 billion to the state's economy) get back on its feet.


Unfortunately there is a lot of out of date information still out there at the moment; even Google's 'Crisis Response' page has not been updated and still says that millions of people are being threatened by flooding.

The majority of popular tourist destinations in Queensland (the Gold Coast, The Sunshine Coast, Airlie Beach, Cairns, Port Douglas, Agnes Waters, Whitsundays and the Great Barrier Reef, just to name a few) have not been affected by flooding AT ALL. They remain a fantastic place to spend your hard earned holiday leave. All Queensland airports, except Rockhampton, are open and working as normal. The main highway from Brisbane to Cairns is open. You can get further details about the areas that are not affected by flooding at all from Tourim Queensland here.

For anyone who hasn’t visited Australia before, or doesn’t know the state of Queensland, the above map may help. You can see a lot of the northern tourist destinations I mentioned above are hundreds and sometimes thousands of kilometres away from the recent flood affected areas.
Yes, I’m biased. Queensland, and Australia, is my home, as well as a great place to travel. But if you’ve ever watched shocking news footage of a devastating natural disaster and wondered what you can do – here is a chance.

Pass this on to anyone and everyone you know who might be planning a holiday soon. Visit Queensland – the tourism industry is open for business!

Now, I’m not saying anything new; almost everyone in the online travel community within Australia is encouraging travellers to spend their precious dollars in Queensland. So many people cant be wrong, right?

There’s even a dedicated Facebook page full of ideas for your next Queensland holiday.

You can also follow the official Tourism Queensland blog

Airlines are even having sales, doing their bit to raise awareness. Domestic Australian airline Virgin Blue is having a sale to destinations in Queensland, where some flights are up to 50% off. Check out the Queensland Shines Sale.

And finally – there are so many people doing it tough in the wake of this incredible destruction. They won’t be having a holiday anytime soon. Please, if you can, donate to the Premier’s Disaster Relief Appeal – the Queensland Government’s official flood appeal fund.