In 2019, domestic visitors in Australia conducted 117.4 million overnight trips contributing $80 billion to the Australian economy. In that same year, there were 8.7 million international visitors who contributed $45.4 billion to the Australian economy. For Queensland, the share of these contributions totalled $25.5 billion.
The economic contribution from tourism to the North Queensland region is around $1.2 billion annually which supports more than 7,000 jobs.
The outlook for international tourism is bleak for several years due to COVID-19, with all tourism and accommodation providers in the region significantly impacted by the pandemic.
The North Queensland region is well placed to position itself as a destination for domestic tourists who now seek a genuine, unique experience. Being located on the doorstep of the rainforest, reef and red soil, the region provides a genuine, unspoilt, and welcoming place for visitors with 320 days of sunshine each year. Success of the tourism markets and the ability to create permanent ongoing jobs lies in investment to unlock the full potential of the region. The region has access to domestic tourism with direct flights into Townsville from all capital cities on the east coast combined with the ability to provide bespoke tourism products that encompass the outback right through to the reef.
To establish North Queensland as a destination that provides unique cultural experiences, while being outdoors and active, it is critical to invest in Reef HQ – showcasing the world's largest living coral reef aquarium, and the Paluma to Wallaman trail – opening a natural treasure over 7 days of hiking through pristine rainforest across an ancient Indigenous trading line, a language line and a song line interconnecting three traditional owner groups.
Reef HQ will also attract edu-tourism visitors to the explore the region, including opportunities for visits and curriculum addition for secondary and tertiary education institutes. After a visit to Reef HQ, tourists can then head straight out to dive the Great Barrier Reef.
Significantly increasing domestic tourism in a COVID-19 safe manner activates the small business community, with many tourism operators in the region being sole traders or businesses with under 10 employees. Creating strong tourism products to attract the domestic market will in turn enable businesses to attract international tourists when travel restrictions are eased. This, combined with becoming a healthy and smart region, can drive small scale symposium markets whereby day discussions can be fast-paced and high-tech and by night be high-intensity outdoor adventure.
Content accurate as of July 2020.
Tourism is a unique industry that boosts the unity between people from all walks of life. It promotes diversity and international connections which can bring more business and cultural collaborations in the long term.
Travelling provides an opportunity to explore or spend leisure time in different places which boosts mental health. The tourism investment into a region creates jobs and contributes to creating a strong social fabric.
The social benefit that tourism facilitates in the North Queensland region is a sense of pride and identity to a community. This is achieved by showcasing distinct characteristics of the region's way of life, history and culture. This in turn creates opportunities for entrepreneurs to establish new services, or facilities that would not be sustainable on just the general population of residents alone.
- Bush Oasis Eco Tourism and Glamping
- Central Park Tourism Development – Stage 2
- Charters Towers 150 Years Celebration Tourism Experience
- Creation of New Mountain Bike Trail
- DriveIT NQ
- Edu Tourism
- Lights at Riverway Stadium
- Magnetic Island Trail Development
- Museum of Underwater Art – Stage 3
- Paluma to Wallaman Trail
- Pelorus Island Retreat
- Reef HQ Development
- Strand Urban and Rockpool Transformation
- Townsville Airport Redevelopment
- Townsville Marine Tourism Precinct