Shovel-ready projects capable of creating new opportunities and spurring investment are part of Queensland’s plans to rebuild its $25.5-billion tourism industry.
The state government has enlisted “industry heavyweights” to form a panel, develop a plan and chart the Covid recovery course for Queensland.
Suggestions for the recovery plan included a boost to infrastructure, rebuilding airline capacity into the state, events to drive visitation and new developments that create experiences in both peak and off-peak periods.
Increasing international education, tourism branding and growing technology were also outlined as possible ways to help the tourism industry recover.
Aviation leader Liz Savage will chair the panel alongside former Tourism Australia chief executive Andrew McEvoy and Tourism and Events Queensland chair Brett Godfrey who will step down his position to focus on this plan.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the panel would oversee the development of an action plan for tourism recovery.
“We have a great opportunity to build back better. That’s what this is all about,” Palaszczuk said.
“Tourism is a cornerstone of our economy. Ensuring this industry gets back on its feet is vital to rebuilding our economy.”
Tourism industry, development and innovation minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the plan would explore new opportunities to shape the next phase of Queensland’s economic response.
“Before Covid, tourism was a healthy $25.5-billion industry, representing one in 11 jobs in the state and employing 234,000 Queenslanders,” Hinchliffe said.
“Covid has dented the state’s economy and shaken world confidence.
“With vaccines being rolled out in Australia and around the world, the panel will work with industry on a considered and thorough plan for Queensland tourism beyond 2021.”
Submissions will be invited from across the industry to shape the plan, with a series of public discussion papers to be issued from April 2021, action will then be identified before a final plan is released in early 2022.