Queensland tourism operators putting money on the line

By: Chris Smith

Queensland Tourism Minister Desley Boyle congratulated local tourism operators in Tropical North Queensland for putting money on the table and

Queensland Tourism Minister Desley Boyle congratulated local tourism operators in Tropical North Queensland for putting money on the table and partnering with Tourism Queensland to market their region.

Boyle says $5 million had been collectively spent on marketing activities to promote the far north region.

"It’s wonderful to see local operators and Tourism Queensland working together to promote their region to would-be Australian and overseas holiday makers," she says.

"Tourism injects over $8 billion into Queensland’s economy each year and directly employs more than 135,000 Queenslanders, making it one of our major industries – which means it’s vital we continue to drive local tourism development."

Boyle says on top of the $5 million spent on marketing campaigns for Tropical North Queensland, it was impossible to put an exact dollar figure on Tourism Queensland’s contribution to helping develop individual destinations.

"There’s a lot more that goes into promoting local areas than just glossy brochures and newspaper advertising," she says.

"Local tourism operators receive expertise, support, contacts and lobbying capacity from Tourism Queensland staff – each destination even has its own dedicated director and coordinator.

"Tourism Queensland also provides special grant funding to regional tourism organisations for a range of individual projects such as research or online marketing.

"Internationally, Tourism Queensland’s 12 overseas-based offices worked with industry on the ground helping visiting Queensland tourism operators with contacts and introductions, digital marketing, consumer promotions, public relations and working with airlines to improve air accessibility into the state.

"And this is clearly reaping rewards, with international visitor expenditure in Queensland in 2007 increasing by four percent to $3.7 billion.

"Which is why last year Tourism Queensland spent $13 million in international marketing activities, and the industry contributed to an additional $4 million through cooperative opportunities."

Boyle says there is no doubt Queensland’s tourism industry was currently facing one of its most challenging periods in the wake of a wet summer, a downturn in consumer spending and a high Australian dollar encouraging Australians to holiday overseas in record numbers.

"There is no denying that many of our destinations have faced a challenging start to the year," Boyle says.

"But we’re prepared for the tough times and have a plan for the future.

"Our tourism industry is renowned for its tenacity, innovation and creativity and Tourism Queensland’s initiatives based on strong regional partnerships, targeted public relations and marketing will continue to ensure our place as Australia’s top holiday destination."

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