The State Government has launched a $7 million, six month tourism stimulus package for Queensland as part of a new Tourism Action Plan through to 2012.
Tourism Minister Peter Lawlor said the Action Plan was supported by $36 million of new tourism funding announced during the 2009 state election campaign.
"The next six months will see the delivery of over $7 million worth of major tourism marketing initiatives," Mr Lawlor said.
"This will add to the $2.8m that has already been invested in domestic and international marketing initiatives over the last six months, bringing the total marketing push to $10m in new money over the course of just one year.
"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.
"The package includes $3.6 million for domestic marketing that will encourage more Australians to ho liday in Queensland.
"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 the stimulus package also included more than $1 million to grow the China market; nearly $700,000 to encourage more New Zealanders to visit Queensland; and more than $1.9 million to exploit tourism opportunities from major business, sporting and cultural events.
"Tourism is one of our state's key economic drivers and with more than 222,000 Queenslanders owe their living to the tourism industry," said the Minister.
"Last year was one of the most challenging ever for our $9 billion tourism industry. That's why the State Government responded by committing an additional $36 million to assisting the industry over the next three years.
"We've reacted quickly to the unprecedented circumstances of the global financial crisis.
"Into the future the T ourism Action Plan to 2012 will guide our tourism strategy and help drive more visitors from around the world to Queensland."
Mr Lawlor said Tourism Queensland would deliver a range of domestic and international marketing activities in the coming six months.
"TQ is working on a series of hard-hitting tactical campaigns which will offer great deals aimed at encouraging Australians to holiday in Queensland," Mr Lawlor said.
"This was a highly successful tactic we employed in 2009, with campaigns such as Unreal Deals and Hey, Hey it's Queensland and one we will continue into 2010 as the economy heads towards recovery.
"Campaigns such as Unreal Deals was the most successful domestic retail campaign ever run by Tourism Queensland and generated $6.5 million in sales for tourism operators across the state.
"Other campaigns on the Gold Coast, Tropical North Queensland, Sunshine Coast and Whitsundays also resulted in thousands of bookings and m illions of dollars into the pockets of our tourism operators they may not otherwise have received."
Mr Lawlor said in addition to ongoing activity across its core international markets, Tourism Queensland would focus on China and New Zealand over the next six months as markets with good growth potential.
"New Zealand is Queensland's largest international market with 402,000 Kiwis visiting the state in the year to September 2009," he said.
"China is our fifth largest market with 142,000 Chinese coming to Queensland during the same period, and one with huge growth potential as people start travelling globally again in 2010.
"As such we will be ramping up our activity in these key markets over the next six months, spending more than $1 million on campaigns for China and more than $688,000 for New Zealand."
The Tourism Minister said $1.93 million had also been allocated over the next six months to exploit tourism opportunities surrounding major events across the state.
"I have directed Tourism Queensland to work with the Queensland Events Corporation and key stakeholders from the public and private sector to maximise tourism opportunities from identified events such as the upcoming Valentino Exhibition at the Gallery of Modern Art, which could attract over $23m in flow-on visitor expenditure in Queensland "
Mr Lawlor said the Tourism Action Plan to 2012 would also focus heavily on building tourism infrastructure, product development and investing in jobs.
"$3 million has been set aside through to 2012 in funding grants for regional and local tourism organisations to help get tourism development initiatives off the ground," he said.
Other projects included in the plan are:
• $350,000 (2009-2010) for a tourism investment attraction program to attract investment in new tourism infrastructure or product for airlines, cruise operators, hotels or major attractions.
• $300,000 (2009-2012) for tourism project pre-feasibility grants - a new approach will accelerate the delivery of tourism infrastructure projects.
• $470,000 (2009-2012) for eco-tourism development grants - to help with concept development and pre-feasibility assessments.
• $1.8 million (2009-2012) for minor tourism infrastructure grants - to help improve the drive tourism market.
• Green Army initiatives (2009-2012)- new and enhanced green tourism infrastructure such as walking tracks and picnic facilities.
• Develop a new web portal whereby volunteers can participate with the tourism industry
The Tourism Action Plan to 2012 is available on the Tourism Queensland website www.tq.com.au
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