Tourism Minister referred to Fair Trading

24 Jun 2011 11:00 AMJann Stuckey

24 June 2011

LABOR’S Tourism Minister Jan Jarratt has been referred to Fair Trading for spruiking super cheap Queensland holidays at ridiculously low rates that were not available.

Shadow Minister for Tourism, Manufacturing and Small Business Jann Stuckey said the Minister had seriously overstepped the mark touting four-star resort holidays at Port Douglas, Cairns and the Gold Coast for $37 and $48 a night.

“The Minister has behaved like a dodgy agent spruiking super cheap holidays – at idiotic rates that don’t exist,” Ms Stuckey said.

“She’s misled a lot of people and caused embarrassment for the resorts.

“I’ve written to Fair Trading because she should not be allowed to go round spruiking rates that are not available,” Ms Stuckey said.

“Ms Jarratt seems to think she can go around spruiking this nonsense and no one will notice.

“People have phoned the resorts requesting bookings only to be told by the operators that they’ve never heard of them.”

Ms Stuckey said the Minister’s room rates included winter holiday ‘specials’* in Far North Queensland at Cairns Mantra Trilogy and  Villas Resort Port Douglas for $37/night and the Broadbeach Mantra for $48/night.

“Ms Jarratt needs to answer where these rates came from, and also the rates for the ‘specials’ referred to in her media statement of June 17** that was issued, but then pulled from the Government’s website.

“If a registered travel agent behaved like this, promoting fake deals, they would be liable for prosecution under our Fair Trading laws,” Ms Stuckey said.

“That’s why I’ve referred Ms Jarratt to Fair Trading – hopefully she will listen to them,” Ms Stuckey said.

Media contact: Jann Stuckey 0439 755 919

**Ministerial medial statement below – issued June 17 – Nothing beats Queensland’s sensational winter holiday specials

From: statements@qld.gov.au [mailto:statements@qld.gov.au]
Sent: Friday, 17 June 2011 5:03 AM
Subject: Nothing Beats Queensland’s sensational winter holiday specials!
Tourism, Manufacturing and Small Business
The Honourable Jan Jarratt
17/06/2011

Nothing Beats Queensland’s sensational winter holiday specials!

Tourism, Manufacturing and Small Business Minister Jan Jarratt said savvy Queenslanders will holiday at home this winter, with tourism operators are offering a range of sensational savings and incentives on holiday packages.
“Do your research because you’ll find Queensland tourism operators are smashing the prices of comparative deals in the Pacific and South East Asia,” Ms Jarratt said.
“There’s a perception that heading overseas to the Pacific and South East Asia can be cheaper than a holiday at home but when you factor in flights, travel time, the costs of eating out and activities, Queensland has some seriously competitive, high-quality, value-for-money deals,” she said.
“For instance a four-night holiday including airfares from Brisbane to a three-and-a-half star resort in the South Pacific will set you back upwards of $859 per person, twin share.
“You also lose around a day in travel time each way getting to and from airports and passing through immigration and customs.
“Whereas a four-night holiday on Queensland’s Magnetic Island at a four-and-a-half star resort can have you relaxing by the pool by lunchtime – and it will cost around $545 per person, twin share including flights from Brisbane.
“Additionally the same couple from Brisbane could drive to the Gold Coast and grab four nights at a four-star resort from $179 per person.”
Ms Jarratt said taking a Queensland holiday will also show our tourism industry that Australians are supporting the State to get back on its feet after recent extreme weather events.
“Our focus is on regaining visitors’ confidence in Queensland as Australia’s favourite destination for holidays, events and business travel,” she said.
“Queensland’s tourism industry is resilient, resourceful and despite dealing with floods and cyclones earlier in the year, operators have rallied together to present a united front of great value deals to lure people back here.
“Nowhere else offers such fantastic flexibility for families who can tailor their holiday, choosing from hotels or self-catering apartments.”
Queensland holidays are on sale throughout the State, with tourism operators from the north to the south offering added incentives such as “stay four nights, pay for three” or “kids stay and eat free” options.
“I urge Aussies to take advantage of what we’ve got in our own backyard and migrate to Queensland’s shores this winter,” Ms Jarratt said.
For more information on Queensland’s shining holiday deals, visit www.queensland.com
Media Contact: 3225 1005