Tourism and Events development to drive visitation

6 Jun 2013 12:06 PMJann Stuckey

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

The future of Queensland’s tourism industry looks bright with more than $100 million to be invested in the sector as part of the Newman Government’s 2013-14 Budget.

Tourism is one of the four pillars of the Queensland economy and the Government will provide $111.6 million to the newly merged Tourism and Events Queensland this year.

Minister for Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games Jann Stuckey said this would include an additional $15 million to drive visitation across the State.

“This is the first year we have combined the tourism and events budgets as we set about reaching our ambitious target of doubling annual overnight visitor expenditure from $15 billion to $30 billion by 2020,” Ms Stuckey said.

“TEQ’s resources will be used strategically to capitalise on the momentum gained over the past year by marketing key destinations and growing the major event calendar to encourage more visitors.”

Ms Stuckey said the Government would also provide $15 million for tourism and event marketing development.

“We will continue to partner with industry and maintain our focus on making Queensland Australia’s number one tourist destination,” she said.

Tourism is one of the State’s largest employers, contributing approximately $18 billion annually to the economy and supporting around 120,000 direct jobs.

In 2012, Queensland welcomed more than 20 million international and domestic overnight visitors; a six per cent increase from 2011.

There will be continued growth for regional tourism with $7 million provided to the Regional Tourism Organisation (RTO) network, which includes incentives for local investment.

This is more than double the $3 million the RTO network received under the previous Government.

The State’s major event calendar has grown in the past two years. New events coming up in 2013-14 include the first Great Barrier Reef Masters Games in Cairns in August and the IRONMAN 70.3 Sunshine Coast in September.

During 2013-14, the second annual DestinationQ Forum will be held on the Gold Coast, partnering industry with Government to review progress in delivering the key actions set out in the landmark partnership agreement of 2012.

Attracting aviation routes will remain a priority, with $2 million allocated this year to the Attracting Aviation Investment Fund.

Efforts to attract foreign and domestic investment to revitalise and create new tourism products will continue after the success of last month’s inaugural Queensland Tourism Investment Forum.

A new ecotourism plan is also being developed in partnership with the Department of National Parks, Recreation, Sport and Racing to encourage private investment and open up new tourism opportunities that showcase our natural assets.

Drive tourism remains a priority in 2013-14, with initiatives being put in place to build industry capability to better meet consumer needs, better manage use of roadside rest areas and facilitate investment in new accommodation facilities.

These drive tourism initiatives are being implemented in partnership with the Department of Transport and Main Roads, and the Drive Alliance.

[ENDS] 4 June 2013