Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says the Queensland tourism industry is expecting strong bookings for Easter and the school holidays with the Greater Sydney COVID hotspot ending on Monday (Feb 1).
“With Queensland open to all Australians again the focus is on getting people to explore and take a holiday in the Sunshine State,” Ms Palaszczuk said
“Opening the border to Greater Sydney could result in a $350m tourism windfall alone.
“That’s what 370,000 Sydneysiders spent in 2019, visiting Queensland for Easter.”
Data released this week by Tourism Research Australia though revealed the devastating impact coronavirus had on the tourism industry last Easter, with spending down more than 80 percent in Queensland.
“The coming pick-up in holiday makers is very welcome news. And it’s a great opportunity for families and friends to get together again,” the Premier said.
“We know that regions largely reliant on tourism are continuing to do it tough, particularly with the international border still closed to overseas visitors.
“I want everyone to get out now and explore Queensland. If your family hasn’t been to the Great Barrier Reef, this year is the perfect opportunity. There’s just so much to do here.
“The great variety of experiences we offer here, have been highlighted again for me, in numerous photos so many happy summer school holidaymakers have posted in the comments section on my Facebook page.”
Tourism Tropical North Queensland CEO Mark Olsen said of late his industry had been facing a crisis of confidence.
“Opening up again to New South Wales visitors will inject a $1m a day into our region. It’s a really good start.
“Those in Greater Sydney have been hitting our web page hard. Cairns is now the third most Googled destination in Australia. Here’s hoping that converts into holidays of a lifetime in Cairns and the far North,” Mr Olsen said.
Ms Palaszczuk said with bookings were firming up visitors shouldn’t leave it too long to plan a Queensland getaway for Easter and the school holidays.
“With the help of Queenslanders and interstate visitors, we can help Queensland tourism to not only rebuild but to rebuild stronger,” the Premier said.
“Still we must all keep doing the right thing to stay COVID-safe and not become complacent.”
Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said Rugby League could also pile points on the board for a big Queensland Easter.
“We’re expecting an Easter feeding frenzy among Sharks fans on the Sunshine Coast for the April 3 match against the North Queensland Cowboys,” Mr Hinchliffe said.
“The Cowboys always bring a showdown to town, so there’s even more reason for Sydney footy fans to make Queensland their Easter destination and then make the hop further north for the school holidays.
“I know the tourism industry genuinely appreciates the support Queenslanders and interstate visitors have shown in the last year by exploring our vast state.
“Easter, the footy and the school holidays are another incentive to keep that support going.
“Events and visitors mean jobs for Queensland tourism’s economic recovery.
“We’re helping tourism rebuild better and know just how important Rugby League will be for Easter in Queensland.”
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Premier and Minister for Trade
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk
Minister for Tourism Industry Development and Innovation and Minister for Sport
The Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe