New plan for drive tourism in Queensland

24 Jan 2013 4:02 PMJann Stuckey

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Queensland is a step closer to cementing its reputation as a world-renowned drive tourism destination, with the launch of the Queensland Drive Tourism Strategy in Bargara today.

Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games Minister Jann Stuckey said strengthening drive tourism would provide benefits for all sectors of the community.

“Our regional cities and towns rely heavily on visitation to support their local businesses and this strategy will stimulate the drive tourism market by encouraging visitors to take a driving holiday,” Ms Stuckey said.

“This is a key outcome of the inaugural DestinationQ Forum and support for drive tourism will play an important role in contributing to the Government’s goal to double annual overnight visitor expenditure to $30 billion by 2020.

“We want drive tourists to feel safe and comfortable while exploring our great State, and the strategy addresses real issues such as road infrastructure, accommodation options, and user-friendly information.”

Ms Stuckey said the strategy’s development had sparked a lot of interest with 98 submissions received from the industry and public during the consultation process.

“29 initiatives have been identified and will be implemented over the next three years through a coordinated approach by State Government agencies, local governments and industry,” she said.

Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett said the drive market was particularly important for the Bundaberg and Discovery Coast region and the strategy would improve the overall visitor experience.

‘We are competing internationally and domestically for the tourism dollar and this strategy is about positioning the State to take advantage of the great opportunities the drive market represents,” Mr Bennett said.

Highlights of the strategy include:
•         improving facilities for drive tourists by providing an additional two years of funding for the dump point program
•         ensuring the tourism industry is consulted annually to inform the Department of Transport and Main Roads’ forward infrastructure program
•         appointing senior ‘go–to’ officers in the Department of Transport and Main Roads who industry can talk to directly on road and signage matters
•         addressing competing use of roadside rest areas between truck drivers who need to rest to address fatigue and drive tourists
•         better meeting the needs of tourists visiting national parks
•         reducing red tape and making it simpler for tourism operators to get road signs to their business
•         empowering and assisting local governments to better address the provision of  non-commercial camping facilities

The Queensland Drive Tourism Strategy 2013-2015 can be found at: www.dtesb.qld.gov.au/tourism-industry/queensland-drive-tourism-strategy( http://www.dtesb.qld.gov.au/tourism-industry/queensland-drive-tourism-strategy )

[ENDS] 24 January 2013