A $ 200 vacation voucher program could be rolled out to other destinations across the state, with Queensland’s high-profile tourism pointing to the Whitsundays and the Gold Coast as ideal candidates.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has left the door open to expand the program unveiled on Sunday that allows Queenslanders to apply for vouchers for experiences in Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef.
The state’s weak tourism industry welcomed the move – which is expected to generate additional $ 14 million in visitor spending for the region – but other regions would also welcome the support.
The program covers 50 percent of the cost of a booked tourism experience up to a value of US $ 200 for travel March 15 through June 25, with 15,000 vouchers to be provided.
« We’re looking at that (expansion of the program), » said Ms. Palaszczuk on Sunday.
Daniel Gschwind, chairman of the board of directors for the Queensland Tourism Industry Council, said other regions are keen to see the assistance.
He said the Whitsundays was a « prime target » that had suffered significantly from the closure of international borders.
« But also the southeast corner … some people may not know how much the Gold Coast has suffered, » he said.
« Although there is a lot going on on the weekend, they have tremendous capacity that is currently underutilized and such a voucher system would definitely work for the Gold Coast as well.
« I think it’s certainly an offer that the Queensland government is expanding to other regions and we obviously want this to happen to give that trust back to the tourism industry. »
The program is only available to Queensland residents with the Prime Minister ruling out extending it to those living between states.
A raffle determines who receives the vouchers. Registration opens on Monday and closes on Thursday.
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