$50M funding for events, conferences, as regional tourism rebounds

Good news for Queensland tourism, with new data showing that travel within the state has skyrocketed over the month of June.

Across Australia, regional tourism rebounded by over $1 billion in the month, according to the new figures from Tourism Research Australia.

There was a 410,000 boost in domestic tourism travellers in Queensland, who spent around $185 million more in June compared to May.


Federal Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham says the figures are a good sign, but many tourism businesses, particularly in larger cities like the Gold Coast, are still doing it really tough.

“Regional Australia is home to many of our incredible tourism locations and experiences, and it’s encouraging to see Australians are rallying behind our industry and taking regional trips,” Minister Birmingham said.

“This data demonstrates that Australians are willing and eager to travel where it’s safe to do so, which is a reminder that excessive border restrictions are limiting the jobs recovery in some communities and businesses.

“We know many of our regions have been hit hard with the bushfires, drought, floods and now the COVID-19 pandemic, and the more economic and tourism activity that occurs, the quicker they can rebound and get back on their feet.

“We also shouldn’t forget the thousands of jobs with tour operators, event management companies, accommodation providers, airlines or airports in our bigger cities who depend on international or interstate visitors.

“I urge Australians who are in a position to do so, to take a staycation, organise an offsite business meeting at venue or for those who live in the bush, to book a weekend away in the big smoke as this could help to save a tourism business or the job of an Australian,” he said.

While the federal government has also announced a new $50 million Business Events Grants program, in the hopes of generating activity in the bigger cities.

It’s hoped the money will support venues, caterers and accommodation providers.

“Whilst our Government’s economic support, which includes the extension of JobKeeper has been a lifeline for thousands of tourism businesses, the best support for our industry is still getting people travelling around Australia and taking interstate trips,” Minister Birmingham said.

“That’s why I continue to urge all state and territory leaders to take a sensible and proportionate approach to border restrictions, and consider adopting a nationally consistent hotspot approach to the movement of Australians.”

Member for Moncrief Angie Bell told myGC this is much needed funding on the Gold Coast.

“That will allow businesses who are undertaking conferences and events to claim 50 percent of their costs back, that’s a coup for the events sector,” she said.

The latest National Visitor Survey monthly results are available on the Tourism Research Australia website.