Restoring Queensland to Poll Position: Australia’s Premier Tourism Destination
Given Australia’s natural beauty and iconic landmarks, you’d think that a trip to Oz would be easy to sell, wouldn’t you?
Australia can no longer rely on its mystic landscapes and diverse cultural offerings to lure overseas visitors to our shores, nor can we rely on Mum and Dad taking the kids to the Gold Coast for September school holidays anymore.
The impact of a high Australian dollar, global economic turmoil and increased competition from Asia have all combined to provide some of the toughest conditions Australian tourism has seen in decades.
Tourism was identified by the Newman Government as one of the four economic pillars that are crucial to Queensland’s future prosperity.
According to the Commonwealth Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism, the sector employs over 122,000 Queenslanders and contributes over $9 billion a year in Gross State Product (GSP).
Many of Queensland’s small and medium enterprise operates in the Tourism sector and account for a significant portion of the above contribution.
The recent DestinationQ forum outlined a positive agenda to get the tourism industry in Queensland moving again.
Tourism has and will continue to benefit greatly from the Government’s red tape reduction strategies and other initiatives designed to assist small and medium business and lift regulatory burdens and barriers to operating a successful business in the sector.
The Federal Government is also pitching in with its Tourism 2020 strategy and TQUAL grants that are benefiting tourism businesses who embrace diverse product and service offerings.
Queensland recently had the most TQUAL recipients of any State or Territory, with 15 applicants receiving more than $1.3 million in funding.
The importance of these initiatives cannot be underestimated.
Yet the State and Federal Government’s recognition of the importance of tourism to Queensland is only the beginning of what needs to be done to get the industry back on track.
Tourism needs continued, innovative responses to the challenges it faces in current global contexts.
Contemporary economic trends impact greatly on how people part with their money.
Holidays and other ‘discretionary’ expenditure are a luxury that few have in the current economic climate.
We need new, diverse product and service offerings that reflect the unique nature of Australian landscapes and culture.
Queensland in particular has a superior visitor experience second to none in Australia.
We ought to be leading the charge in resurrecting the industry that has historically contributed so much not only economically, but on many different levels.
Tourism projects an image of Australia to the world.
We need to ensure that what we are marketing is pitched in an appropriate manner to capture imaginations, to lure dollars and to increase awareness that Australia is open for business.
Tourism has the potential to be a gateway to further investment.
By promoting tourism, we are additionally promoting Queensland as a competitive place to do business in.
Over the coming weeks, CCIQ will be publishing a series of Tourism blogs as they relate to small business.
Stay tuned for the next instalment…