Bundy's turtles in the tourism spotlight

HOLIDAY makers will be encouraged to secure their spot to experience the region's awe-inspiring turtle season, with a new tourism campaign being launched today.

Tourism Minister Jann Stuckey said the campaign would run from October 2013 through to March 2014 in partnership with Bundaberg North Burnett Tourism and local tourism operators.

"The turtle season is a signature natural experience on Queensland's calendar, providing visitors to the Southern Great Barrier Reef region with a rare opportunity to witness the magnificent marine turtle during nightly ranger-guided turtle encounters at the Mon Repos turtle rookery," Ms Stuckey said.

"Later in the season visitors can watch the tiny turtle hatchlings embark on life's journey into the tropical waters off Queensland's coastline.

"This is an unparalleled Queensland natural encounter that should not be missed."

Ms Stuckey said the promotion of the turtles would be taken wide and far. 

"The marketing initiative will feature images of turtle hatchlings across a range of mediums from television to online channels to the side of Brisbane buses," she said.

"Queensland's 'Best Jobs Park Ranger', Elisa Detrez, will also visit the rookery, working alongside rangers to promote the experience to people around the world via her blog and social media."

The Bundaberg region's turtle will be in the spotlight for tourism.
The Bundaberg region's turtle will be in the spotlight for tourism. Craig Parry

National Parks Minister, Steve Dickson said the Mon Repos turtle rookery, run by the Queensland Park and Wildlife Service (QPWS) provided visitors with a world-class eco-tourism experience.

"Adding to the experience are our fantastic QPWS staff who deliver an inspiring and informative experience, which will only be enhanced by the Newman Government's $450,000 to upgrade the Mon Repos centre," Mr Dickson said.

"As the largest loggerhead turtle rookery in the South Pacific, Mon Repos provides visitors with an unrivalled opportunity to see the most significant concentration of nesting marine turtles on Australia's east coast."

Bundaberg North Burnett Tourism General Manager Rick Matkowski said almost a year ago, Mon Repos was impacted by Ex-Tropical Cyclone Oswald and this year's season would demonstrate the resilience of the local tourism industry and rookery which was back bigger and better, with staff and volunteers expecting a bumper turtle season.

"For the past three years this campaign has strengthened the partnership between tourism and National Parks to provide a unique educational tourism experience whilst promoting the value of conservation of these endangered species," Mr Matkowski said.

"Domestic visitors to the Bundaberg region spent $1.3 million per day in the year to June 2013, with the turtle season an important drawcard providing a major economic boost to the local economy."

Minister Stuckey said the campaign formed part of the Newman Government's plan to double annual overnight visitor expenditure from $15 billion to $30 billion by 2020.

Bundaberg welcomed 575,000 domestic and international overnight visitors in the year to June 2013.

For more information on Queensland's turtle season and to book your own turtle encounter visit www.queensland.com/turtles.

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