Tourists could be slugged with a levy to visit some of our most popular attractions under a radical plan to generate more revenue for the sector.
It’s one of 75 recommendations to come from a Queensland Tourism Industry Reference Panel which could see people having to pay to go to places like our national parks.
The report found that Queensland had been losing market share before the pandemic hit but that there’s now a golden opportunity to capitalise on the reopening of the world and the 2032 Olympics.
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It is estimated that if Queensland were to restore its market share, it would be worth an extra $12 billion annually by 2032.
But the report found that the industry needs to seriously consider new mechanisms to garner additional funding, warning the state government can’t keep doing the heavy lifting.
“If we give destinations, or local governments, the option to apply a focused tourism enhancement levy, they can raise money to support and grow the visitor economy,” the report found.
“We should also consider the application of ‘user pays’ fees and charges in circumstances where funds raised can contribute directly to the management of visitor impacts, maintenance and regeneration of natural assets thereby enhancing the overall experience for visitors.”
The panel also found that Queensland needs to take advantage of its natural assets and we need to look at ways to ‘bring the coast to life’.
This could include new ‘commercial opportunities’ including beachside dining or bars, similar to the Kurrawa Beach Bar trial.
The report also urged leaders to consider how destinations like the Gold Coast could own more of the family holiday market and entice families to visit repeatedly.
“Is it time that Gold Coast, for instance, becomes home for an anchor attraction? We think this is worthy of exploration: there would likely be significant benefit to existing operators from the addition of a new anchor attraction as such a powerful drawcard,” the report said.