The TRC Tourism team was excited to see the Tourism Masterplan for Yunbenun (Magnetic Island) off the coast of Townsville, released to the public last month. The development of the plan involved extensive consultation with Traditional Owners, community, industry, residents and visitors to determine the best approach to effectively manage visitor growth in a way that protects the natural environment and also delivers a world-class visitor experience.

TRC worked with Townsville Enterprise Limited (TEL) to develop the Masterplan, which outlines 26 initiatives to support the Island’s vision and sustainable visitor growth. This is particularly critical, with around three-quarters of the island comprised of national or conservation parks.

Modelling indicates that investment in new products and experiences as outlined in the Masterplan will likely generate almost 100,000 visitors and 295,000 visitor nights over the 10 years from 2022.

The extensive community consultation that helped shape the Masterplan included online forums, face-to-face workshops, meetings, newsletters and online submissions. This enabled the team to hear many different perspectives on the challenges and opportunities for the island.

Happily, the consultation process revealed overwhelming support for implementing initiatives that would increase the protection of the Island’s natural and cultural values.

The Masterplan aligns with the Queensland Government’s Towards Tourism 2030 strategy by growing the supply of new tourism products, accommodation, and nature-based experiences.