The peak national industry body Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF) has welcomed plans to elevate the Tourism portfolio to a senior Cabinet position, boost funding for Tourism Events Queensland by $40 million over the next four years and provide a four year guarantee for tourism funding announced by Queensland Labor today.
TTF Chief Executive Margy Osmond said “these are sensible policy changes that TTF has long advocated for.
“Tourism is a critical economic driver for Queensland, contributing $23 billion to gross state product each year. Elevating the tourism portfolio to a senior cabinet position just makes sense, but I would call on Labor to ensure tourism is highly visible and not simply rolled into another portfolio.
“In a state like Queensland that is so dependent on tourism, adequate funding must be put in place to ensure the state remains competitive not only with other Australian states and territories, but also with international destinations. Long term funding is critical to achieving this. Extending funding out to four years and increasing the budget for Tourism Events Queensland by $10 million each year are welcome changes that will support the industry and encourage growth.
“Both parties have now ruled out the introduction of a bed tax and this is good news for the industry. Tourism in Queensland already makes an enormous contribution to taxation revenue, with some $2.6 billion generated by visitor expenditure alone each year. Lumping the industry with new taxes would simply drive up costs for visitors and make Queensland less competitive, threatening investment.
“The development of a cohesive tourism and transport strategy is welcomed. The role of public transport in our cities and regions for visitors should be a core part of transport and tourism planning. After all connected, integrated and active cities benefit residents while also making destinations more attractive to visitors.
“TTF is calling on the LNP government to match these commitments made and ensure that the tourism industry is adequately supported at the highest levels of government.
“TTF will be releasing its tourism priorities document Queensland Tourism: Backing Our Strengths – An Agenda for the Queensland Government over the coming days.”