As we approach Queensland Tourism week and the Queensland Tourism Awards, I wanted to take a moment to express my heartfelt gratitude for your continued support of QTIC. Your dedication to QTIC has been a cornerstone of our shared success, and I want to thank each and every one of you.
September saw me travelling to Canberra for the Australian Tourism Industry Council (ATIC) quarterly board meeting. Made up of all the state and territory tourism industry councils, including QTIC, our respective councils discussed the issues most affecting tourism businesses. I am sure it will come as no surprise, but top of the agenda was the ongoing skills and labour shortage as well as evolving insurance troubles.
Over the past month, I have taken to the road and headed into region to connect with QTIC members and tourism operators. From the Whitsundays to Southern Queensland Country, local knowledge, experience, and expertise was on display and I thank all the businesses who took the time to speak with me.
The trip into Southern Queensland Country was particularly special as it was not just me visiting Queensland’s spring heartland, but I joined the QTIC Board as we stayed in Toowoomba. Local businesses treated us to walking tours of the city and community icons, and, thanks to Southern Queensland Country Tourism, we held a networking event and industry round table, where local voices could be heard.
Recently, I have found myself in deep discussions on the skills shortage gripping our tourism industry. From on-the-ground operators and QTIC members to government representatives and leaders in the private sector, the workforce topic is on everyone’s mind and lips.
While it can be tempting to leave the past in the dust, it is important to highlight the difference between Queensland’s pre-pandemic tourism landscape and today’s operating environment. The comparison paints a clearer picture for us moving forward.
As we turn the page on another financial year, it is fantastic to close the last six months with the news that Queensland is Australia’s top holiday destination. The latest data from Tourism Research Australia (TRA) shows that, in the year ended March 2023, our state set new benchmarks of success by welcoming a record 26 million domestic visitors, who spent a record $29.3 billion. Most notably, spending records were broken by almost all our state’s regions. A testament to the popularity and visitor appeal of all Queensland’s unique landscapes.
Over the past month I have had the pleasure of travelling throughout the state alongside Tourism and Events Queensland’s newly appointed CEO Trish O’Callaghan. From Hervey Bay to the Outback, it has been fantastic getting into region, meeting with members and visiting local communities. Over cups of coffee, Trish and I discovered more ways in which we can better help to generate growth and prosperity for our visitor economy.
The 2023-24 Federal Government Budget was handed down yesterday and includes several key funding commitments aimed at supporting the growth of the tourism and hospitality industry. We breakdown and share these major initiatives with you in our Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC) overview.
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