The red carpet will be rolled out for visitors to North Stradbroke Island with the first 18 participants graduating from the inaugural Welcome to North Stradbroke Island program today.
Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said the program – an initiative of Redland City Council, Brisbane Marketing and Tourism and Events Queensland – would see visitors to the popular holiday destination welcomed with open arms and local knowledge.
“This is a fantastic program that combines the local knowledge and passion of tourism operators with the natural beauty of Straddie to make this wonderful part of the world even more attractive to visitors,” she said.
“We all know Straddie is a very special place with people coming from all over the world to experience its beautiful beaches and cultural history and these 18 graduates will play an important role in ensuring their stay is a special one.
“Having completed a specially designed Welcome to North Stradbroke Island online training course, these graduates have earned the privilege of being ambassadors for Straddie and will now use the skills and knowledge learnt through this program to make tourists feel more like guests rather than visitors.
“Often known by its traditional name of Minjerribah, one of Straddie’s key points of difference is its cultural tourism and it is great that today’s graduates include representatives of the island’s traditional owners the Quandamooka people.
“All of today’s graduates bring their own experience and local stories, which provide great tourism appeal and I congratulate them for their commitment to this program.”
Cr Williams said the Welcome to North Stradbroke Island program was part of a renewed focus on tourism in the Redlands.
“With sand mining being phased out on North Stradbroke Island, tourism will undoubtedly become more and more important for the island’s economy,” she said.
“While Council has no control over when sand mining ends on Straddie we are committed to ensuring the local economy is prepared for the transition.
“The Welcome to Straddie program is part of the $170,000 State-funded “Signature Straddie Package” – a program delivering a range of tailored tourism-led initiatives over the next two years, delivering economic benefits to the city.”
Division 2 Councillor for North Stradbroke Island Craig Ogilvie said the program would build on Straddie’s reputation as an internationally renowned tourist destination.
“Tourism is more than just long beaches and great views, it is also about creating a welcoming environment for visitors and this program will help achieve this,” he said.
“I congratulate today’s graduates and encourage other tourism operators to be part of the program.”
The Welcome to North Stradbroke Island program is part of the overarching Brisbane Welcomes the World Program, which builds the Brisbane region’s reputation as one of the friendliest places in the world by making a world of difference to its visitors.
Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said he was delighted that a legacy of the G20 was now being embraced by North Stradbroke Island.
“Such was the success of the Brisbane Welcomes the World program that it is now being rolled out into the wider Brisbane region to ensure our visitors receive the warmest welcome and go home with lasting memories that they will share with friends and family.”
The Welcome to North Stradbroke Island online modules can be accessed here.