MINISTER RALLIES SUPPORT FOR REGIONAL QUEENSLAND TOURISM

MINISTER RALLIES SUPPORT FOR REGIONAL QUEENSLAND TOURISM

FEDERAL Tourism Minister Martin Ferguson (pictured) has vowed to lure more tourists to regional holiday destinations.

He plans to shift Tourism Australia’s (TA) advertising focus away from metropolitan cities to regional Queensland centres.

“We want get the tourists out of the cities and into regional holiday hubs like the Gold Coast,” he told business leaders at a Queensland Tourism Industry Council event in Brisbane.

“TA spends the better part of its $130 million a year budget on promoting the whole country to overseas markets, but only $5 million goes towards marketing Australia as a holiday destination for Australians.”

Gladstone Area Promotion and Development, which was represented at the event, suggests tourism campaigns should encourage fly-in fly-out (FIFO) workers to try a family holiday closer to where they work.

“They should market holiday destination campaigns near the mines because tourism will go through the roof,” says CEO Glenn Churchill.

“FIFO workers with an average annual salary of $160,000 could enjoy a holiday close to the mines, giving the kids a chance to see where mum and dad works.”

Ferguson believes ecotourism and the mining boom will complement each other provided that stringent conditions are met.

“Getting a mining license should not be easy for an exploration company,” he says.

“It requires obtaining approval from the Indigenous Australians and complying with the world’s most rigorous requirements to guarantee the future viability of water, flora and fauna.”

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