Far North Queensland is hoping for a major tourism boost as thousands of Queenslanders start receiving their $200 vouchers to spend on holiday experiences.
Emails have dropped into the inboxes of 15,000 Queenslanders, who were drawn out as winners of the ‘Cairns Holiday Dollars’ vouchers, and 280 bookings have already been made.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the voucher lottery had been a major success, with over 100,000 people signing up to win.
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“This program will support local jobs and pump millions of dollars back into the local economy here in the Far North,” the Premier said.
“The response from Queenslanders has been absolutely overwhelming.
“We know that people want to escape to the Far North for a holiday. Today is proof that this scheme is converting demand into bookings for our tourism operators, which is exactly what we want to see.
Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the initiative would generate around $14 million in the coming months for the Far North, an area that has been hit the hardest by the COVID-19 crisis.
“More than 106,000 applied for a voucher which shows Cairns is Queensland’s place to be,” Mr Hinchliffe said.
“The Cairns Holiday Dollars are already having a positive effect on business bottom lines with bookings surging from Queenslanders looking for the perfect tropical holiday experience.
“With the end of JobKeeper nearing, every holidaymaker contributing to the visitor economy is making a big difference to livelihoods in Cairns and Port Douglas.”
The Queensland Government will evaluate the success of the voucher initiative before considering whether to roll it out to other tourism regions around the state.