Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ) has unveiled a $1.8 million funding package aimed at supporting key holiday hotspots in the state. The announcement is expected to support tourism and hospitality jobs in Queensland.
Minister for Tourism and Major Events Kate Jones said the money is available as part of the TEQ Queensland Destination Events Program (QDEP) second phase. She confirmed that funding would go towards 35 events across 10 locations.
These destinations include the Gold and Sunshine coasts, Brisbane, Bundaberg, Townsville and Mackay. Six events will take place in Southern Queensland Country, which is the largest number in this round of funding.
“The Palaszczuk government is committed to growing our tourism industry because that means more jobs for Queenslanders,” Ms Jones stated. “Local events help drive visitation to Queensland’s tourism regions, support local economies and create more local jobs.”
Funding amounts range from $10,000 at the lower end up to $300,000 for the Outback’s Julia Creek Dirt ‘n’ Dust Festival. Other high-profile events include Brisbane’s BIGSOUND ($148,000) and the Caloundra Music Festival on the Sunshine Coast ($180,000).
Ms Jones said the QDEP provides crucial support for the state’s most popular destinations, and helps contribute to Queensland’s $23 billion tourism sector.
Queensland tourism on the rise
The TEQ events funding came just two days after Tourism Research Australia’s National Visitor Survey showed Queensland experienced its best year for domestic visitations on record.
Figures from the organisation had already revealed a significant rise in international tourists and predicted this trend would continue into the future. However, domestic visits also rose 10 per cent to 5.5 million in the 12 months to September.
The data is likely to be encouraging for people employed in the tourism industry, as well as apprentices and trainees who are working towards qualifications.
“Business travel to Queensland continued as the strongest-performing market with a 28 per cent rise, showing confidence in the state is high and growth is strong,” Ms Jones stated. “Importantly, this growth in tourism means more jobs for Queenslanders.”
Brisbane remained the most popular domestic destination, with 26 per cent more business travellers making the trip to the capital over the year. Overall, nine of the state’s 11 tourism regions experienced a rise in domestic tourism, with Mackay, Tropical North Queensland and Fraser Coast enjoying the largest gains.
By Leanne Macnamara, Public Relations Coordinator