World Tourism Day… exploring our region’s backyard

World Tourism Day… exploring our region’s backyard

Can you believe that it’s been 18 months since Australia closed its borders?

Sometimes it feels like time is flying by, and at other times like it is standing still!

While the Covid-19 pandemic has been an enormous disruption for the tourism industry and the travelling public, it has also presented us with the opportunity to explore destinations closer to home that we may have long overlooked.

We are extremely fortunate in Queensland to be able to live and travel relatively freely within our own state, as well as being able to visit bucket-list destinations such as the Northern Territory, Tasmania and Norfolk Island.

In 2019, 2.8 million overseas travelers visited Queensland, with the vast majority seeking out the Great Barrier Reef. This iconic destination is right on our doorstep!

Only a 2-hour boat trip or 30-minute flight from Gladstone and you’ll reach the coral cay of Heron Island, and a little further on, the indulgent Wilson Island.

Head south and there’s the opportunity to spend a day on the reef at Lady Musgrave Island or immerse yourself in the marine life at Lady Elliot Island.

I have lost count of how many people I have spoken to over the last year, who have been in Gladstone for most of their life, have crisscrossed the globe, however never taken the time to visit Heron Island!

No matter what the destination is in Australia, now is the time to start planning your visit, because in the blink of an eye, Australian will reopen, and we won’t have these amazing destinations all to ourselves for long.

As we pass by that 18-month mark since the Australian border closed, the news is better each day, with vaccination rates accelerating and plans being put in place for travel bubbles and green lanes.

Take the time to visit our local wonders now… we will be exploring the world again soon!


By Carmen Ward


Helloworld Travel Gladstone


Did you know?

  • September 27 marks World Tourism Day, and the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has defined it as a day to focus on “tourism for inclusive growth”.
  • Queensland’s tourism industry is a $28 billion industry for the state, with domestic and international visitors spending $54.2 million per day in the year ending June 2020.
  • The tourism industry directly and indirectly employs 234,000 Queenslanders – or 1 in 11 of all people employed in Queensland.