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Federal funding to reignite international tourism for Cairns

Tourism Tropical North Queensland (TTNQ) has welcomed the Prime Minister’s announcement of $15 million funding for the destination marketing organisation to reignite the region’s $1 billion international visitor economy.

TTNQ Chair Ken Chapman said he was incredibly thankful to the Prime Minister for throwing his personal support and understanding behind the need to rebuild international tourism.

“Mr Morrison understands the unique impact of border closures for this region. He listened to TTNQ’s recovery proposals, understood the issues, and had the confidence to back us to get the job done with this support,” Mr Chapman said.

“We must also acknowledge Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch for his very strong backing for this funding and indeed for his tireless advocacy for the tourism industry in this region throughout the pandemic.

“His efforts have helped save businesses and jobs and will now contribute to rebuilding the regional tourism industry back to the $4 billion per annum powerhouse that it was becoming before COVID-19.”

TTNQ CEO Mark Olsen said the $60 million boost announced by the Prime Minister, with $15 million dedicated to TTNQ was welcomed by the industry in readiness for the return of international markets and the funding would enable a more rapid re-entry into key markets.

“With $5.3 billion tourism dollars stripped from Tropical North Queensland’s economy over the past two years, our international tourism businesses need support to enable our industry to head back into our key international markets to drive more visitors to Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef,” he said.

“The Great Barrier Reef is a major attraction for Australia and, in addition to ensuring our key operators are back in market, the funding will allow TTNQ to leverage the great work of Tourism Australia in campaigns, digital and public relations activities in key returning markets.

“We really appreciate the ongoing support of the member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch and Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Dan Tehan who been with us from the start of this pandemic with JobKeeper, support for zoos and aquariums, the industry recovery funds and the domestic marketing program.

“This latest support lifeline shows just how much they understand the needs of the industry and how important it is to Australian tourism to invest in the future of Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef as an international destination.

“Tropical North Queensland is the nation’s most tourism dependant region and this funding will ensure our tourism industry continues to deliver not just as a regional economy, but as a world-class Australian destination.”