Bligh pledges $38m for new tourism initiatives

By: Chris Smith

Premier Anna Bligh has pledged nearly $38 million in new tourism initiatives as part of a record tourism marketing and

Premier Anna Bligh has pledged nearly $38 million in new tourism initiatives as part of a record tourism marketing and infrastructure package for the next three years.

The $37.8 million package will provide an additional $36 million to Tourism Queensland over three years for new regionally focused tourism marketing and product development campaigns; as well as $1.8 million over three years to deliver roadside infrastructure to support the drive travel market.

"The Queensland tourism industry employs more than 119,000 people and contributes approximately $9 billion a year to the State economy," she says.

"That’s why this new funding has been targeted to directly benefit our tourism operators to protect jobs during these difficult times."

Bligh says the new funding is in addition to the more than $137 million existing commitment to Tourism Queensland over the next three years.

"This package is also in addition to the existing $15 million a year Queensland Investment and Incentive Scheme (QIIS), some of which has been used to attract new airlines to Queensland," she says.

Bligh says that some $6 million will by used by Tourism Queensland, in partnership with Queensland Events, to market major business, sporting and cultural events such as the Picasso exhibition, the Gold Coast A1GP and the Gold Coast Marathon.

"The rest will be used by Tourism Queensland for general marketing and developing new tourism products such as the ‘short breaks’ campaign," she says.

Te $1.8 million to support the drive travel market will be used for roadside infrastructure such as shaded picnic areas, toilet facilities and tourism signage. This work will be undertaken in consultation with local councils and tourism operators.

"We will get these projects under way as soon as possible to create job opportunities in regional communities," the Premier says.

"Funding of up to $50,000 per project will be made available to local councils, regional tourism organisations or local community groups to support new infrastructure along our highway network."

Bligh notes the $36 million in additional funding is from the consolidated revenue fund while the $1.8 million part of the package is from existing Department of Tourism, Regional Development and Industry funding.

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