China and NZ new tourism targets
THE FRASER Coast can expect a major influx of visitors from China and New Zealand if a $7 million State Government tourism initiative hits the mark.
Announced by Tourism Minister Peter Lawlor on Friday, the Tourism Action Plan would be rolled out over the next six months and shared among six Queensland holiday hotspots.
“This will add to the $2.8 million that has already been invested in domestic and international marketing initiative over the last six months,” Mr Lawlor said.
“We are seeing the green shoots of recovery after the global financial crisis and what this stimulus package does is give us the best chance possible of harnessing the recovery for Queensland.”
Of the $7 million, $1 million would go to growing the China market; $700,000 to enticing more Kiwis and $3.6 million to encouraging more Aussies interstate.
“The key markets that will be targeted by the plan include Tropical North Queensland, the Whitsundays, Fraser Coast, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast and Brisbane,” Mr Lawlor said.
Damien Massingham, general manager of the Fraser Coast South Burnett Tourism Board, greeted the announcement as “fantastic news for the Fraser Coast’s tourism industry” yesterday.
“This will build on what the tourism board and Fraser Coast council have been working on over the recent months,” he said.
On the back of an average year, Mr Massingham said he was looking forward to seeing the Tourism Action Plan rolled out.
“It’s certainly early days yet but the Christmas and new year period seemed to have been quite strong for operators so far,” he said.
“This time last year we had some severe weather and then an oil spill off Moreton Bay and then of course the global financial crisis.
“The first quarter of last year there were a lot of external factors that created lots of problems for operators not only on the Fraser Coast but Queensland.
“But the indications are that we’ve come through it and early predictions are a medium to strong new year period.”
Mr Lawlor said the Tourism Action Plan would be supported by $36 million of new tourism funding announced during the 2009 state election campaign.
“Tourism is one of our state’s key economic drivers and more than 222,000 Queenslanders owe their living to the tourism industry.
“Last year was one of the most challenging ever for our $9 billion industry. That’s why the State Government responded by committing an additional $36 million to assisting the industry over the next three years.
“Into the future the Tourism Action Plan to 2012 will guide our tourism strategy and help drive more visitors from around the world to Queensland.”