Labor announces $74 million towards outback tourism
NEW outback tourism projects could be on the table if Labor wins the upcoming state election, and the State Government believes it could drive tourists 'back to Queensland'.
If re-elected, the Palaszczuk Labor Government plans to invest a further $74 million to help rebuild Queensland's tourism industry, including the Outback, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the Rebuilding Queensland Tourism investment would help position Queensland to fast-track tourism recovery and restore thousands of tourism jobs, building on the government's previous tourism initiatives in Outback Queensland.
"Labor has a proven track record of working with the tourism industry including securing new flights to help drive visitation throughout the state," Ms Palaszczuk said.
"This plan capitalises on the fact that Queensland has a competitive advantage because of our strong health response, placing us in the box seat for tourism recovery."
Ms Palaszczuk said the package included a new $20 million Queensland Tourism Activation Fund to generate tourism opportunities throughout Queensland.
"We are also committing new funding for events, Queensland tourism initiatives and regional tourism bodies," she said.
"The special one-off funding injection of $15 million to regional tourism organisations will enable them to better market their destinations and drive more tourism around the state."
Labor candidate for Warrego Mark O'Brien said the Labor Government had promoted events and backed new projects during the Year of Outback Tourism.
"That includes projects from Adels Grove and Cobbold Gorge in the north, through central Queensland and down to Roma and Cunnamulla in the south," Mr O'Brien said.
Tourism Minister Kate Jones said Labor's plan would help get more tourists back to Queensland.
"This plan is all about bolstering visitor numbers from every major city of Australia back to Queensland," Ms Jones said.
The proposed policies include:
- $20 million Queensland Tourism Activation Fund.
- $20 million events boost to attract more events for Queensland. This investment will include $14 million for major events and $1.5 million a year for business events.
- $15 million to Tourism and Events Queensland for extra marketing to encourage travellers to experience Queensland.
- $15 million regional tourism organisation fund to provide a one-off funding injection to regional tourism organisations.
- $4 million to deliver business capability training and future proofing the industry.