A new future for Queensland tourism

By: Chris Smith

Tourism Minister Desley Boyle has unveiled five reforms that will shape a new future for Queensland’s tourism industry. The five

Tourism Minister Desley Boyle has unveiled five reforms that will shape a new future for Queensland’s tourism industry.

The five key reforms will see more money and more resources allocated to Queensland’s tourism zones than ever before.

"It’s time to deliver a comprehensive set of actions that will position Queensland tourism towards a bright future," Boyle says.

"These reforms will result in better resourced regions, stronger and more diverse networks, increased private sector investment in tourism product, partnerships with industry within new tourism zones, and a refocusing of Tourism Queensland on national and international marketing."

Boyle says there will be no cuts to the funding of Queensland’s 14 Regional Tourism Organisations. Rather there will be an additional pool of funding of $3 million for the development of new and innovative projects and for building stronger industry networks.

"The new funding of $3 million will be available on a contestable basis to encourage regional tourism organisations to come up with new projects and fresh ideas," she says.

"RTOs will continue to receive at least the same level of funding, however this will be for specific projects rather than for administration or overheads.

"All in all they’ll be eligible to receive more money than ever before."

Boyle says the reforms define seven tourism zones:
  • The Outback
  • The Tropics
  • The Whitsundays and Islands of the Great Barrier Reef
  • The Coral Coast
  • The Sunshine and Fraser Coasts
  • Brisbane and SEQ Country
  • The Gold Coast and Hinterland

Boyle says new senior officer positions will be created for the seven zones including:
  • Seven Tourism Queensland regional directors
  • Seven high level Department of Tourism officers to work with the private sector on infrastructure and new development

"These officers will ensure a smooth passage for projects through the plethora of government agencies that can be involved in licensing and approvals," Boyle says.

"Essentially the tourism industry will have their own one stop shop for getting tourism projects off the ground.

"These officers will live and work in the zone it will be their responsibility to grow.

"The Tourism Queensland regional directors will be redeployed to the zones and focus on selling Queensland with the development of major national and international marketing campaigns. Tourism Queensland will be responsible for soft product development and quality of tourism experiences.

"For the first time ever each tourism zone will be running their own agenda.

"Who else is better informed to tell us how to market Indigenous tourism than those living in the Cape? Who better to decide how to market the Outback, than those living and breathing there?

"We have such diverse product in Queensland. From the ruggedness of the Cape and the Gulf to the glitz and glamour of the Gold Coast – it makes sense to have individual regions making the big decisions about tourism marketing and development.

"Marketing of Queensland’s iconic destinations such as Noosa, the Daintree, Fraser Island, Port Douglas, will not in anyway be diminished.

"As we head towards tomorrow’s Queensland, it’s time that we build stronger regions with new product and better focussed national and international marketing campaigns.

"This package of comprehensive reforms will be welcomed by tourism businesses which have too often in the past had difficulty negotiating their way through bureaucratic processes."

Boyle has called on regional tourism bodies to come on board with her plan.

"These groups are a critical part of our tourism network and just like TQ and my Department, they need to be focused on achieving results for their particular region," she says.

"I am not going to direct these bodies about their future structure but I will say that if groups within a zone can deliver a better outcome by joining forces then that is something I would support and financially assist."


  • Additional funding for the zones
  • Deployment of two high level senior officers per zone
  • Increased private sector investment in tourism product
  • Broader and better resourced tourism networks
  • Restructure of Tourism Queensland to focus on national and international marketing strategies

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