The tourism recovery effort in Far North Queensland in the wake of Cyclone Jasper has shifted up a gear with Qantas Airways (ASX: QAN) and its Jetstar subsidiary announcing discounted flights into Cairns over the next three months.
In a $5 million package jointly funded by federal and state governments via the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements, Qantas and Jetstar are offering interstate and intrastate flights into cairns from $79.
The package also includes discounted accommodation packages through Qantas Hotels and Holidays, My Queensland and Luxury Escapes in a bid to support tourism operators and local business impacted by the disruptions cause by the cyclone last month.
One-way economy domestic sale fares to Cairns start from $79 with Jetstar and $129 with Qantas from today from most capital cities with the initiative set to stay in place until the end of March 2024.
The initiative is expected to be extend to include other airlines and travel industry partners, pending the completion of negotiations which are currently under way.
“This jointly funded $5 million tourism recovery package aims to keep people coming to the region and provide crucial support to local businesses, local families and the local economy,” says Queensland Premier Steven Miles.
“The Australian and Queensland governments are committed to working together to get the Far North’s tourism sector back on its feet.”
Mark Olsen, the CEO of Tourism Tropical North Queensland, reveals that Cyclone Jasper has cost the local tourism industry about $300 million through holiday cancellations.
“This initiative will give the region a real shot in the arm as we need visitors now more than ever having missed out on what is traditionally a peak time for visitors over the Christmas and New Year period,” Olsen says.
“While the iconic Great Barrier Reef Drive is under repair you can take a return trip from Cairns to Port Douglas by boat for just $50 and see the stunning mountains covered in wet tropics rainforest from the Coral Sea.”
Qantas is planning to introduce its planned discounted accommodation packages tot the market over the next few weeks.
“Tropical North Queensland communities and businesses have faced incredibly challenging circumstances during this holiday period, when tourism operators are usually at their busiest,” says Catriona Larritt, the chief customer officer at Qantas.
“These special airfares will help boost the region’s recovery and rally Australians to visit North Queensland in the coming weeks and months.
“These heavily discounted fares offer great value for money, with customers able to lock in a last-minute getaway before the summer school holidays end.”
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