The Queensland government has announced that it will commit $100 million towards an aviation attraction package. This dollar figure will combine with an additional $100 million contributed by the state’s four international airports.
The $200 million aviation attraction package will ensure that Queensland can step up its competitive position on the global tourism stage, secure more flights and additional routes to increase our state’s aviation capacity over the next few years.
As international borders reopen on 21 February, Australia will be entering an extremely competitive market. As one of the last nations to reinstate travel for international tourists, Australia will be competing with established holiday destinations vying for visitors in an urgent struggle to rebuild economies. Today, Tourism Research Australia released its latest report, confirming that cumulative losses for Australia in international tourism since the start of COVID have amounted to $68.6 billion. A staggering impact on businesses and communities, not least in Queensland’s internationally-focused destinations.
Queensland has excellent visitor experiences and products to offer, and the attributes of space, clean environments and uncrowded destinations are likely to be even more attractive in a post-COVID consumer market. However, we must be conveniently accessible and connected with the world, and we must be ready and resourced to compete in this global space if we want to reactivate a thriving visitor economy in a timely way.
QTIC has consistently urged the Queensland government to invest in a committed and well-funded aviation attraction partnership with industry and the announcement today is certainly welcome news and will help restore industry confidence. The fact that the four airports are supporting this initiative in such a substantial way is testimony to the strong collaboration and spirit of industry-government partnerships that have been demonstrated throughout the crisis. The multimillion-dollar aviation package will help ensure that Queensland is ready to welcome the world to our sunshine state once more. The multimillion-dollar aviation package will help ensure that Queensland is ready to welcome the world to our sunshine state once more.
We now need to ensure that our international border will indeed remain open and travel restrictions will ease without unnecessary uncertainty introduced to rattle international traveller confidence. National Cabinet, state and territory governments, ATAGI and Health Departments all must play a role in guiding the nation with a steady hand towards a predictable and practical future, including for international travel.
The state government’s commitment earlier this week to the launching of a domestic and international marketing campaign, will further help in re-establishing our tourism brand and destination identity as one of the best in the world.