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Airlie to celebrate Year of the Goat

By Mark Beale

AIRLIE Beach is about to be infused with an oriental flavour with a variety of celebrations for Chinese New Year.

Starting today (Thursday, February 19), the Chinese ‘Year of the Goat’ will be celebrated quite literally at Cruise Whitsundays, with live goats appearing at the company’s Port of Airlie Maritime Terminal each morning until Sunday, February 22.

Reservations Manager Lisa Bates said with such a high number of Chinese guests booked on cruises over the New Year period “we wanted to do something fun to celebrate the Year of the Goat for those guests”.

The starring goats ‘Honda’, ‘Hope’ and ‘Caramello’, from Woodwark, will be at the Cruise Whitsundays terminal each day from 7am – 10am, along with a professional animal handler to ensure the safety of both the animals and guests, who will be able to pat the goats and pose for photos with them.

“We all know how important the ‘selfie’ is these days worldwide, no matter the culture, but we think our Chinese guests in particular are going to love this opportunity to pose for photos with the goats,” Ms Bates said. In another effort to cater for the influx of Chinese visitors to Airlie Beach over the New Year period, Cruise Whitsundays has released a detailed map of Airlie Beach, translated into Chinese.

Sales Manager Tracy Evans said the map aimed to help Chinese visitors easily find their way around the facilities, restaurants and accommodation of Airlie Beach.

“Ensuring they can find their way around Airlie Beach easily and understand that there are plenty of relevant facilities like Union Pay ATMs, free wifi and Asian grocery stores, only helps to ensure these visitors enjoy their stay in the region, and encourage additional friends and family to visit,” she said.

Several thousand hard copies of the map have been printed and provided to Cruise Whitsundays accommodation partners to distribute to their Chinese guests.

Local businesses wanting to access the map can contact Cruise Whitsundays direct.

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