“Signature Straddie” package to support tourism future

25 Nov 2013 3:12 PMJann Stuckey

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

North Stradbroke Island’s eco-tourism industry has been given a $200,000 boost, to help local operators develop new experiences that showcase the Island’s world-class natural beauty.

Minister for Tourism, Major Events, Small Business, and the Commonwealth Games Jann Stuckey and Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Andrew Cripps today announced the new “Signature Straddie” package, which recognises the Island’s previously untapped potential.

“North Stradbroke Island has been a popular spot to visit for some time, but the previous Labor Government failed to recognise its true potential,” Ms Stuckey said.

“We are injecting this money to realise that potential and establish a new eco-tourism industry, which will draw more visitors, create jobs and boost the local and state economy.

“We want to support the local industry in growing eco-tourism and position itself to leverage off its competitive advantage – nature.

“The natural beauty, crystal clear waters and strong indigenous culture create the perfect environment for tourists looking for world-class experiences.

“This move supports our election promise to make tourism one of the four pillars of the economy.”

Mr Cripps said the $200,000 package will help the Island community transition away from a dependence on sand mining.

“This is investment forms part of our commitment to help grow alternative sustainable industries, like eco-tourism, to support the North Stradbroke Island economy,” Mr Cripps said.

“It will take time to develop the private sector interest and investment to facilitate new nature-based recreation, tourism and education on the island.

“However, this contribution will help to create the foundations to see new business opportunities established and grow.”

The “Signature Straddie” package will be developed by Tourism and Events Queensland in close consultation with key partners and local operators.  The package will involve two key components:

  • “Signature Experience Development” – supporting Stradbroke operators identifying the ‘hero experiences’ for North Stradbroke. This will provide the destination with a competitive edge, focusing on its unique attributes and key target markets.
  • “Straddie Eco-Ready” – helping operators move their businesses to a sustainable basis and to access Eco-tourism accreditation, which is mandatory to operate tours in national parks. 

Today’s announcement follows the Newman Government’s recent launch of the Eco Tourism Plan at this year’s DestinationQ forum.

Ms Stuckey said visitors value eco-tourism and look for experiences that are sustainable.

“As part of the push toward eco-tourism we need to ensure we have tourism operators who are committed to the care of the local environment,” she said.

“The next stage is for local operators identify their own “signature” experiences that reflect and enhance what is special about Straddie and resonate with visitors. 

“Workshops and mentoring of operators will take place to assist the local industry improve and innovate to create unique memories that tourists will want to tell their friends about.”

The package will be managed by Tourism and Events Queensland in close collaboration with Brisbane Marketing, the Redlands City Council and local tourism operators.  It will be run over the next 18-24 months.

[ENDS] 20 November 2013