Queenslanders will be urged to take a holiday at home this year, as part of a new campaign to help support tourism operators impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
A new campaign launched by the Queensland government will attempt to galvanise the hard-hit sector and spur upwards of $1 billion in overnight accommodation over the next four months.
Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the campaign will aim to convince Queensland families to stay local to help the recovery effort providing a much needed boost for the state's tourism sector.
“Because Queenslanders have done such a great job flattening the curve, we were able to open up intrastate travel two weeks earlier,” Palaszczuk said.
“Every year, 3.2 million Queenslanders spend nearly $10 billion holidaying interstate and overseas.
“This campaign will help us to tap into that market to support our tourism operators.”
Recent figures have suggested that pressure has been mounting on policymakers with the state of Queensland facing a tourism revenue hit of $770 million for every month the border remains shut.
The state remains more exposed than neighbouring NSW and Victoria, with interstate visitors making up 47.4 per cent of its domestic market.
Queensland will now fast-track intrastate travel with tourism operators across the state now preparing to move out of hibernation and attempt to revive their businesses.
“One in 10 Queenslanders rely on our tourism industry for a living,” Palaszczuk said.
“This campaign will help us to safeguard more than 230,000 jobs.”
Operators across the state will be hoping some of the $54 billion in tourism spend, usually spent by 10 million Australians annually overseas, will now up for grabs on home soil.
Tourism minister Kate Jones urged Queenslanders to spend that money at home this year and support local businesses that were doing it tough.
Further help to the tourism sector will come through a seperate $11 million support package to aid theme park workers.
Palaszczuk said the funding—part of a $50 million package announced last month—would support Village Roadshow, Ardent Leisure and Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary to retain staff.
“Our number one priority is to safeguard jobs,” Palaszczuk said.
“That’s why we’ve prioritised the tourism industry’s biggest employers in this fund.”
The funding will support wages and re-opening of attractions as well as other supplier costs.