Tourism & Events Queensland has gotten its wish, with a new multi-million dollar funding program from the Palaszczuk Government.
Palaszczuk’s first budget delivered on its promise to provide certainty for TEQ, with an allocation of $400 million over four years, according to the Tourism & Transport Forum Australia (TTF).
“Reversing the former Government’s planned funding cut was a key ask of TTF in our Queensland election agenda and we are pleased the Palaszczuk Government has listened to the industry,” TTF’s ceo Margy Osmond said.
“However, TTF now looks forward to working with the Government to increase funding for tourism in Queensland to ensure it remains competitive in Australia and in our region moving forward.”
“Over the past five calendar years, international visitor expenditure in Queensland has only grown 6.9%, while New South Wales and Victoria have recorded 19.7% and 34.7% growth over the same period.”
Tourism is a critical economic driver for Queensland, generating $27.8 billion in overall expenditure and supporting 140,000 direct jobs every year, according to TTF.
Osmond claims it is essential for Queensland to invest more heavily in state tourism, especially with its neighbours down in NSW just announcing a 33% increase to its tourism, major events and business events budget, with a record $176 million.
“While today’s decision is an important first move, Queensland will need to continue investing in tourism to ensure it does not slip further behind its interstate rivals,” Osmond said, citing financial certainty as key to committing to long term tourism campaigns.
“It will also have important flow-on effects for all of the State’s regional tourism organisations and the convention bureaux that rely on funding from Tourism & Events Queensland.”
“The additional funding of $100 million over five years to protect the Great Barrier Reef is another great initiative that will help preserve one of Australia’s greatest tourist icons.”
Similarly, additional funding to both transport and the arts sector will make a difference to Queensland’s tourism offerings, including the $300 million rail improvements in Brisbane and the additional $28 million over four years to boost Brisbane’s Cultural Precinct.