June 13, 2019

Queensland tourism budget puts money into regions

The Queensland Government has outlined budget investments to the state’s tourism industry including the development of tourism hubs in Cairns and on the Gold Coast, and a range of programs and activities to drive tourists to regional areas.

Queensland continues to be a major destination for international visitors, with more than 2.7m international visitors a year who last year spent $6bn in the state, a 13% increase on 2017.

“Tourism has been recognised as one of the key pillars of the Queensland economy and the Government is making a good investment in supporting the industry through this budget.”

ATEC MD, Peter Shelley says.

“We can see some valuable measures, like the upgrade to the Gabba ahead of a big year of international cricket in 2020 and a vision to make the Wangetti Trail ecotourism walk into an international strength attraction.”

Queensland budget measures for international tourism include:

  • $60 million to support delivery of the Southport Spit Master Plan.
  • $21.4 million over two years for the Global Tourism Hubs in Cairns and the Gold Coast and for the management of contracts for the Queen’s Wharf Brisbane Integrated Resort Development and the Thorsborne, Cooloola and Whitsunday Ecotourism Trails Program.
  • $35 million for an upgrade of the Brisbane Cricket Ground with completion in time for the T20 World Cup in 2020 and First Test of the Ashes Series against England in November 2021.
  • $41.4 million to the 94km Wangetti Trail ecotourism walk from Palm Cove north to Port Douglas.
  • $3 million over three years for the Premier’s Outback Events Program
  • $2 million over two years to develop an options assessment for an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Centre to celebrate and showcase artistry and cultural heritage of Traditional Owners.

“While many of the states are doing some great work in developing and improving their tourism assets, we still see a huge gulf between the investments the states are making on the ground and the limited investment being made at a national level,” Shelley says.

“There are key capacity building activities which ATEC believes the Federal Government must take hold of in supporting international tourism, like sector training and development, greater investment in our global marketing budget, better visa systems and connectivity and opening up more regional gateways.

“These issues, which ATEC advocated for during the election, underpin the ability for state based investments to be successful and the state and federal governments need to pull together in supporting each others overall tourism strategies.”

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