Club Med calls it quits
CLUB Med, the international owners of Lindeman Island, have announced the closure of the iconic Whitsunday resort.
The shock shutdown will leave up to 25 staff out of work when the doors are locked on January 31.
State Tourism Minister and Member for Whitsunday Jan Jarratt said her immediate concerns were for staff employed at Lindeman Island.
"I have asked the Office of the Minister for Employment, Skills and Mining to consider deploying the Rapid Response Team to help impacted workers find new jobs in the region," Ms Jarratt said.
"This is a blow but it won't destroy the confidence of the Whitsunday tourism industry,
"Hayman Island has just completed a multi-million dollar refurbishment and looks better than ever, Hamilton Island is trading strongly and Daydream is also on the rebound."
Tourism Whitsundays chief executive officer Peter O'Reilly said the decision had been "some time coming" with Club Med trying to sell the island for a number of years.
He said resort management had been working to ensure no one would be negatively affected.
"Club Med are not taking any bookings past that date, they have been well prepared for this," he said.
The tourism chief said the closure would bring about 25 local job losses.
"But good staff will undoubtedly find work in this region," he said.
Mr O'Reilly said the Club Med formula was a unique product that would be sorely missed in Australia.
"It's a huge loss to have a resort like that close down. It was unique to the region, it's a loss to the state and this country."