Prime Minister Scott Morrison has given high praise to TTNQ when outlining why our destination marketing organisation has received one-quarter of the $60 million Federal funding allocated to international tourism recovery.
Announcing $15 million in funding over two years for Tropical North Queensland, Mr Morrison said no part of the Australian tourism industry had been more successful in developing international markets and nurturing those relationships than Tropical North Queensland, and that when our region is doing well then the Australian tourism industry is doing well.
TTNQ Chair Ken Chapman and I are grateful 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.
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.
The Prime Minister says the funding will ensure Tropical North Queensland is at the front of tourism marketing as Australia re-enters the international markets and, importantly, converting a love of Australia into international arrivals as soon as possible. Our industry has put in the hard yards over the past three decades to build our international markets and it is deeply gratifying to see those efforts acknowledged. Here is an excerpt of what the Prime Minister said at the Cairns Zoom & Wildlife Dome yesterday:
“Can I thank all the amazing tourism operators up here in Tropical North Queensland. This is the best of the best, and it’s not just the best of the best experiences when it comes to tourism in Australia, but anywhere in the world. But they’re also the best of the best when it comes to how to get tourists here to Australia, how to make sure they have a great experience and how to maximise the economic benefits of tourism while looking after our fragile environment, while respecting our Indigenous culture and ensuring that the whole tourism ecosystem benefits and is sustainable for the future. From my own time back at Tourism Australia many, many years ago now, that was the reputation of TTNQ back then and it only has continued to grow in stature over time.
“A quarter of the $60 million is going directly to TTNQ because they are at the cutting edge – they are at the leading edge of our tourism industry and when TTNQ and Tropical North Queensland is doing well then the Australian tourism industry is doing well. They’re out there selling Australia like few can and they’ve got some of the best product in the country. To be able to do that and, once people are captured by what is available here, then I know from experience that they start looking at all the other options whether that is Western Australia, down in Tasmania, over at the Rock, down in Sydney and Melbourne – all the experiences that Australia has to offer.
“TTNQ, they’re out there, right out in front and I want to make sure that they can be there right out in front as we go into this new phase. I know that they will be out there converting that love of Australia into getting bums on seats on planes and getting there as soon as possible.”
The Tropical North Queensland industry has received a well-earned pat on the back and a very strong show of faith in our ability to drive tourism recovery not just for our region, but for the nation. We will grasp this opportunity and work with our partners to rebuild Tropical North Queensland and Australia as the international destination of choice.
Chief Executive Officer