Queensland’s Hamilton Island cops backlash for remaining cash-free holiday spot

The Nightly
2 Min Read
In an explainer on its website, the island states the choice to become cashless was “driven by the imperative to ensure the safety of our guests and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic”.
In an explainer on its website, the island states the choice to become cashless was “driven by the imperative to ensure the safety of our guests and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic”. Credit: Stephen Bird/Stephen - stock.adobe.com

Luxury Queensland holiday spot Hamilton Island is copping backlash from Aussies after declaring the island will stay “cash-free”.

Tourists have been left annoyed after the stunning Whitsundays Region island decided to make its COVID-19 “cashless environment” rules permanent, stating it will “not accept cash” at any of its outlets. In an explainer on its website, the island states the choice to become cashless was “driven by the imperative to ensure the safety of our guests and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic”.

Following the relaxation of pandemic restrictions, the island decided to continue the approach for health and wellbeing, convenience, and security.

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“Cashless payments facilitate seamless, contactless transactions, promoting a hygienic environment for the well-being of both guests and staff,” its website states.

“Embracing cashless payments provides a hassle-free and efficient way for our guests to make payments, eliminating the need to carry cash or deal with change.”

It also added cashless transactions significantly reduced the risk of loss or theft, offering secure and traceable financial transactions.

While fee-free card payments can be processed via EFTPOS for cheque and savings accounts at the terminal, those paying with credit will be hit with a 1.25 per cent surcharge, as well as those who prefer to ‘tap and go’ via credit or debit cards.

Despite outlining the reasoning behind the move, travellers have said they will “boycott” the dream location because of the permanent change.

One disgruntled man took to Facebook to show his disapproval after realising the island’s rules.

“I guess I won’t be going to Hamilton Island. The whole Island is cash-free,” Andy McNab posted, along with a picture of a sign stating the island’s policy.

McNab’s post was shared more than 500 times, with many potential travellers agreeing the island can, “stick it”.

“Say NO to holidaying on Hamilton Island! There are lots of others to choose from!” Sarah Sharlee wrote.

“Well everyone should boycott the place and let them go broke,” added Greg Deon.

Others labelled the change as “stupid” warning the island would “suffer the consequences.

Cash deposits and withdrawals can be made using the Bank@Post service at the Australia Post office on Front Street, where cash can also be exchanged for pre-paid or top-up Mastercards.

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