Queensland tourism industry set to receive a boost

How the Queensland tourism industry will recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

The coronavirus (COVID-19) has created an economic downturn across multiple industries, none more affected than the tourism industry. But a $50 million boost is set to turn that around. 

The Queensland State Government has announced a $50 million funding boost to support Queensland’s tourism businesses, theme parks and animal parks through the worldwide pandemic. 

The boost, which is part of the Queensland Economic Recovery Strategy: Unite and recover for Queensland Jobs, encourages Queenslanders to holiday at home this year.

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“Queensland’s tourism industry – our state’s backbone, our state’s lifeblood – has been dealt a crippling body blow by the pandemic,” Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.

“It has been heartbreaking to make tough but unavoidable decisions – like the decision to close our borders and place hard restrictions on the industry – knowing that they would hurt while at the same time understanding they were critical to save lives.”

Ms Palaszczuk said before the pandemic, tourism contributed $27 billion to Queensland’s economy and was responsible for more than 230,000 jobs.

“Nearly one in three jobs have been lost in accommodation and food services in Queensland due to restrictions,” she said. 

“That’s why we are committing $50 million to support our tourism businesses and our iconic theme parks and animal parks. We want them to get through this and survive and come out at the other end stronger, more resilient and able to continue to make their critical contribution to Queensland.”

QUEENSLAND TOURISM READY TO REBOOT

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Tourism Minister Kate Jones said Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ) were in the final stages of preparing a domestic tourism campaign, which will be unveiled in early June.

“We have a very simple message for Queenslanders – get out and explore your own state,” Ms Jones said.

“The June-July school holidays are shaping as a crucially important time for our tourism operators, who have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Ms Jones said Queensland remained a top travel destination for prospective tourists from New South Wales and Victoria. 

“Once restrictions are lifted, we want to burst out of the gates,” Ms Jones said.

“Ahead of interstate travel resuming, we’ll be working hard with our airline partners to deliver great fares and I’m confident Queensland will have a strong appeal for the nine million Australians who take an international trip each year and won’t be able to in 2020.”

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TEQ chief executive Leanne Coddington said research showed 60% of Australians were planning to take a holiday as restrictions eased. 

“Queensland is an internationally renowned tourism destination which people travel from all over the world to experience for themselves, so the first stage is a perfect opportunity for us all to rediscover our state and fall in love with it all over again,” she said.