Qld’s travel voucher scheme under scrutiny

 

The State Government's tourism recovery response has come under fire amid the revelation Queensland has spent less money on travel voucher schemes than almost every other state.

With the industry on its knees facing a $13bn black hole, the Queensland government last month launched a hugely popular travel voucher initiative for Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef.

But data obtained by The Courier-Mail reveals that the $4m outlay pales next to the government spend of similar schemes in NSW, Victoria and the Northern Territory.

Queensland Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said that the state's tourism recovery response was worth $790m so far, dwarfing travel voucher ­offers to ignite tourism in other states.

Queensland Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe during Question Time last month. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Dan Peled
Queensland Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe during Question Time last month. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Dan Peled

NSW government-led travel promotions have so far totalled a massive $520m.

Victoria ($40m) and the NT ($16.2m) are also well ahead of Queensland, as is the spend on similar schemes in Tasmania ($7.5m) and SA ($6.5m).

Queensland Opposition Leader and tourism spokesman David Crisafulli said the state government had spent more time criticising the federal government over the end of JobKeeper and the controversial aviation recovery package than in addressing the issues affecting tourism operators.

"While the Queensland government has been fixated on throwing stones at Canberra, other state leaders have rolled up their sleeves and done some heavy lifting," he said.

"Many businesses in those regions heavily reliant on tourism are doing it incredibly tough, and they need every level of government helping.

"A little more state support and a little less crying at Canberra would show they put business survival over politics."

Mr Hinchliffe said voucher programs were "just one tool in the Palaszczuk government's COVID kit bag for Queensland tourism operators".

"More than $790m is being provided in targeted COVID support for the tourism industry including Small Business Adaption Grants, Jobs ­Support Loans, Airline Support, Industry Support Packages, International Tourism Adaptation Grants, DNRME rent waivers and Liquor Tax Exemptions.

"The Cairns Holiday Dollar vouchers are intended to target a specific region at a specific time of the year and are delivering solid results.

"As the Premier has said, Queensland will be rolling out more voucher programs for other destinations in a targeted boost of visitor numbers.

"The 'Good to Go' TV and digital campaign is airing in Sydney, Melbourne and Queensland. We've already started marketing Queensland as the place to be for Kiwis ahead of the opening of the trans-Tasman bubble."

Federal Tourism Minister Dan Tehan said all levels of governments should be supporting the tourism sector.

Queensland Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the state's tourism recovery response was worth $790 million so far, dwarfing travel voucher offers to ignite tourism in other states.

NSW government-led travel promotions have so far totalled a massive $520 million.

Victoria ($40 million) and the NT ($16.2 million) are also well ahead of Queensland, as is the spend on similar schemes in Tasmania ($7.5 million) and SA ($6.5 million).

Queensland opposition leader and tourism spokesman David Crisafulli said the State government had spent more time criticising the Federal government over the end of JobKeeper and the controversial aviation recovery package than in addressing the issues affecting the state's tourism operators.

Queensland opposition leader and tourism spokesman David Crisafulli. Picture: Dan Peled (NCA NewsWire)
Queensland opposition leader and tourism spokesman David Crisafulli. Picture: Dan Peled (NCA NewsWire)

"While the Queensland Government has been fixated on throwing stones at Canberra, other state leaders have rolled up their sleeves and done some heavy lifting," he said.

"Many businesses in those regions heavily reliant on tourism are doing it incredibly tough, and they need every level of Government helping them through.

"A little more State support and a little less crying at Canberra would show they put business survival over politics."

Mr Hinchliffe said voucher programs were "just one tool in the Palaszczuk Government's COVID kit bag for Queensland tourism operators".

Queensland Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe. Picture: Dan Peled (NCA NewsWire)
Queensland Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe. Picture: Dan Peled (NCA NewsWire)

"More than $790 million is being provided in targeted COVID support for the tourism industry including Small Business Adaption Grants, Jobs Support Loans, Airline Support, Industry Support Packages, International Tourism Adaptation Grants, DNRME rent waivers and Liquor Tax Exemptions.

"The Cairns Holiday Dollar vouchers are intended to target a specific region at a specific time of the year and are delivering solid results.

"As the Premier has said, Queensland will be rolling out more voucher programs for other destinations in a targeted boost of visitor numbers.

"The 'Good to Go' TV and digital campaign is airing in Sydney, Melbourne and Queensland.

"We've already started marketing Queensland as the place to be for Kiwis ahead of the opening of the trans-Tasman bubble."

Federal Tourism Minister Dan Tehan said all levels of governments should be supporting the tourism sector.

"Our Government announced a $1.2 billion aviation and tourism support package to kickstart domestic tourism spending," he said.

"Queensland tourism operators would welcome any further support from their state government to get more people spending money at hotels, restaurants, pubs, and tourism experiences to support the jobs and businesses in our tourism sector."

 

The towns that won big from travel voucher scheme

Originally published as State's travel voucher scheme under scrutiny

 


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