Whitsundays festivals get funding boost

Airlie Beach Race Week and The Whitsunday Reef Festival are set for a big funding boost in 2019.

The funding comes as part of the Queensland Destination Events Program (QDEP), which can be applied for through the Tourism and Events Queensland website.

Tourism Whitsundays CEO Tash Wheeler said they very pleased with the results of the funding and hope to see more events be successful with the QDEP program throughout the year.

“We are thrilled with this generous financial boost from the State Government for The Whitsunday Reef Festival and Airlie Beach Race Week, this is the most significant funding boost either of these events have seen,” she said. “This is money will afford us the ability to significantly boost attendance figures for 2019, driving more people to our beautiful region, which will greatly increase expenditure throughout.”

Kicking off the festivities in August is The Whitsunday Reef Festival, now in its 19th year. This year the event received $15,000 in funding.

Following The Whitsunday Reef Festival is the Airlie Beach Race Week (ABRW), which received $150,000 in funding, the highest funding amount ever received by ABRW.

“In 2019 we plan to make it even bigger and better with and increased number of entries and an expanded program of Festival activities for the local community and visitors to the Whitsundays,” said Adrian Bram, Airlie Beach Race Week’s marketing director.