Answering a reply on TA tonight I looked up to see an australia.com ad... so I thought I would click onto it to see how they are representing our region only to find out they are selling us to the neighbors...
Other TA helpers out there how are they representing your region? Are they offering you the Sydney Harbour Bridge and giving you the West Gate Bridge??
Following was my e-mailed response to Tourism Australia after checking out Australia's official tourism site...
We are extremely disgusted to see on the www.australia.com site that you have resorted to false marketing.
We looked with interest at the Pacific Coast Touring Route, happy that the introduction included the Whitsundays, which we call home. We then went on to the detail, only to find that the Whitsundays was not visited at all on the itinerary suggested.
Worse still, there was a suggested day trip to the "southern Whitsunday Islands" available from Mackay!
1 - Mackay is not in the Whitsundays. If you look at your own membership list, you will find that Mackay Tourism is a separate body to Tourism Whitsundays.
2 - The southern most Whitsunday Island is Hamilton Island, Brampton & Carlisle Islands are not in the Whitsundays, and are a full days sail from the Whitsundays. The trip would take about seven hours on a fast commuter ferry, if such a trip existed!
3 - A beautiful photo of Whitehaven Beach is shown to entice travellers to the tour, however it is not accessible from the stops you list. Whitehaven Beach is constantly voted as one of the top beaches in the world, but is only accessible from the Whitsunday Islands, Airlie Beach and Shute Harbour.
4 - Please get out a map of Australia, it is time that you learned what is located where! The following is an extract from the website:
> Unforgettable is the word most people use to describe the Great Barrier Reef - a spectacle so vast it can be seen from space. This World Heritage marine wonderland is an explosion of colour that stretches for 2,600 kilometres off the Queensland coast. You can access this undersea spectacular of marine life and coral reefs from Cairns and the Whitsundays in the north and Townsville, Mackay and Gladstone further south.
Most maps will show that Cairns and Townsville are in the north section of the Great Barrier Reef, Mackay and the Whitsundays form the central section, and the southern section is off the coast at Gladstone.
In closing, if you don't know where your members are located, or where the most popular visitor destinations are, it is time to move on! We are told that tough times are ahead for the tourism industry, and to leave out an area that is very popular and dependent with the international market is disgusting and misleading to all concerned.
We look forward to a reply which confirms the corrections of these basic errors immediately!