While many Queenslanders may not be ecstatic with the recent Newman budget, travel leaders generally give it the thumbs up!
The budget provides funding to support efforts to grow the visitor economy and improve mobility in high-growth South East Queensland, according to peak national body, Tourism & Transport Forum.
While maintaining baseline funding for Tourism Queensland and Events Queensland, the budget provides an additional $20 million for tourism marketing and $8 million for airline attraction. It also continues funding for the Moreton Bay Rail Link and the Gold Coast Rapid Transit, two transport projects which are vital to managing congestion and population growth in South-East Queensland.
TTF chief executive John Lee said the budget “cements” tourism as a pillar of the Queensland economy.
“The allocation of an additional $20 million for a Tourism Investment Strategy focusing on destination marketing will help Queensland work towards the Tourism 2020 targets of doubling overnight visitor expenditure to $30 billion by the end of the decade, while confirmation of $8 million over four years for a dedicated airline attraction fund will help get more direct flights into Queensland from key international source markets.
“In a tight fiscal environment, the Newman government is to be congratulated for backing its election commitments with funding to make tourism a pillar of the Queensland economy.”
Queensland Tourism Industry Council chief executive Daniel Gschwind agreed. He said the Queensland budget invested in the tourism sector, with additional direct funding to destinations and for aviation attraction.
“The Queensland government has kept its promise, made in both policy and at the DestinationQ forum earlier this year, to work with the tourism industry to achieve strong growth over the coming decade, in particular to double visitor expenditure by the year 2020,” he said.
“On behalf of the industry, QTIC has signed a partnership agreement with the Queensland government and this budget takes an important step on the path towards the goals. The budget confirms our confidence in the premier’s support and the tourism minister, Jann Stuckey’s commitment to the industry.
“The budget also reaffirms the government’s intentions to create sustainable opportunities within National Parks for tourism in the future which holds great potential.”
Minister for tourism Jann Stuckey said the government was determined to once again make Queensland Australia’s number one tourism destination.
“The Newman government has provided additional funding of $20 million to implement a tourism investment strategy focusing on destination marketing. These funds will assist Tourism Queensland to support destination marketing and to deliver the DestinationQ 12-Month Key Action Plan. We have more than doubled the amount of funding available for regional tourism organisations from $3.1 million to $7 million per year in recognition of the valuable role they play.”
Australian Tourism Export Council managing director, Felicia Mariani, was quick to praise the new Liberal government’s commitment to tourism in the state.
“We are currently seeing small signs of recovery in our traditional markets including the US and Japan and there continues to be strong growth opportunities from the east, with China leading the pack.”
Ms Mariani was keen to stress that the industry’s ability to capitalise on this new funding would be dependent upon it becoming export ready. “Queensland tourism businesses need to be not only export ready, but China ready, and ATEC calls on the government to allocate a portion of its regional tourism funding to the development of good destination management plans.”
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