Magnetic rebrand could attract big tourist dollars
Rebranding the Townsville region as the Magnetic Coast would see our part of Queensland seriously compete with the Whitsundays, Gold and Sunshine Coasts, pulling big tourist dollars our way.
That was the suggestion from retiring councillor Verena Coombe, who said marketing the region as the Magnetic Coast would lure paradise-seekers to visit the city and the "hidden gem" just a 20-minute ferry ride away.
There is no denying the power of Magnetic Island's tourism industry, injecting $202.8 million into the economy in the last financial year.
Townsville MP Scott Stewart was excited about the rebrand idea.
"I think it is great; it really puts Maggie Island in the centre of it," he said.
"Magnetic Island is really synonymous for Townsville, it is a place people come to discover for themselves and it is a beautiful gem of our northern coastline."
Mr Stewart explained the decision would end up with the tourism vendors in Townsville to vote for the rebranding.
Although it may be a good idea in theory to capitalise on Magnetic Island, Townsville Enterprise Limited was sceptical about pigeonholing Townsville.
TEL Tourism and Events director Lisa Woolfe said they were always open to the idea of rebranding but it had to fit with the region's image.
"As the regional tourism body we represent a cross-section of tourism landscapes, which we believe is a great strength of Townsville North Queensland," she said.
"While Magnetic Island is certainly the jewel in the crown, our diversity is what sets us apart, in that visitors can have a reef, rainforest and outback experience all within the one region."
Townsville Water Sports business owner James Steed thought the idea was a step in the right direction.
"We need some new fresh vibes about how we market our region," he said.
"I was at Nelly Bay last weekend and it has such a youthful vibe and that is what the island is all about. I think it is great if Townsville can get on board with that vibe of Magnetic Island."