State Budget 2017/18: Tourism central to Queensland regional economies

The 2017/18 Queensland Budget has recognised tourism’s role as a critical driver of jobs and regional development, supported with investment across a range projects and industry development initiatives.

Chief Executive of the Queensland Tourism Industry Council Daniel Gschwind said QTIC had made consistent representations on behalf of the tourism industry to encourage appropriate, growth-focused investment for National Parks, attractions and transport infrastructure and workforce development needs.

“We are very pleased to see a significant boost to investment in new visitor infrastructure in National Parks with $35 million allocated over the next two years - QTIC made a strong economic case for this investment which will also support conservation outcomes,” Mr Gschwind said.

“It is one of our great competitive advantages to grow visitor expenditure through exciting experiences in our great natural assets.”

“We were also pleased to see continued support for the Whitsunday and Mackay regions following Cyclone Debbie – the region will receive priority funding for infrastructure improvements from the national park revitalisation program and benefit from an additional $8.2 million for a Tourism and Small Business Recovery Package.”

Mr Gschwind said the increased allocation in funding to address water quality issues with the Great Barrier Reef was positive news.

“The challenge to protect the Reef long-term is clear and a far greater investment to its long-term conservation and economic potential will be necessary – while the increased budget investment is welcome, it is our expectation that both the Commonwealth and Queensland governments will build on their commitments to ensure the Reef can continue to generate $6 billion annually in tourism expenditure.”

Mr Gschwind said regional investment in infrastructure, transport and attractions, would not only create jobs but also enhance Queensland’s capacity to attract visitors and events in a growing global tourism market.

The expansion of the Cairns Convention Centre and delivery of a 25,000 seat stadium in Townsville will be facilities that will service both the local communities and growing visitor economies in North Queensland.

“We also look forward to seeing the legacy outcomes from the investment in the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games facilities to benefit the future events industry in Queensland.”

Also encouraging is the continued focus and investment in training and skills in tourism, a key growth sector for Queensland currently with a labour shortage.  

Mr Gschwind said it was also fantastic to see a focus on developing arts and cultural tourism products in Queensland with significant funds committed to the upgrading of Brisbane’s Cultural Precinct and investing in regional and Indigenous arts initiatives.

Refer to Factsheet for breakdown of tourism highlights from the State Budget 2017/18.

For further information or for interviews please contact:

Kathleen Price, Communications Manager QTIC – 0424 775192
Daniel Gschwind, QTIC Chief Executive – 0419 219 795