TOURISM Minister Peter Lawlor, has assured business leaders that the Gold Coast is on target to deal with the economic impact of the downturn.
“Tourism has always been a part of the Gold Coast economy and as we diversified it won’t lose its importance,” says Lawlor.
“Over three million domestic visitors and close to 800,000 international visitors holidayed on the Gold Coast last year.
“And while domestic spending is down by 1 per cent, international spending increase by 9 per cent to just over $1 billion.”
Addressing an Institute of Business Leaders function, the Minister outlined Queensland Tourism’s immediate focus for 2009 — protecting tourism jobs. More than 200,000 Queensland jobs depend on the industry, 28,500 of which are centred on the Gold Coast.
Lawlor says the government is now acting on its $37.8 million election promise to strengthen the state’s tourism industry. Further, he acknowledged the Gold Coast economy’s diversity as a positive and explained the government’s approach.
“Our strategy is a two pronged approach,” he says.
“Firstly, helping our traditional sectors to ride their way through these challenging times, strengthen their operations and seek out new opportunities. And secondly to continue the efforts to diversify the economy to guard against the volatility that can plague some sectors at various times and provide more stability across the board.”
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