International visitors contribute over $5 billion to the Queensland economy each year, but New South Wales and Victoria are growing this important market faster than Queensland.
We aren’t capitalising on the tourism boom because when it comes to tourism, Labor is high on rhetoric, low on delivery. Under Labor, Queensland is falling behind.
Labor’s new Asian tourism strategy even features a plan to attract flights in direct competition with the role of the Attracting Aviation Investment Fund (AAIF).
Ahead of the annual Chinese new year celebrations in January 2017, it was revealed that Cairns was sold out by Labor in favour of Brisbane. Under Labor, Cairns lost its direct flights from mainland China. The LNP had secured these flights for Cairns in 2013.
Worse, two months later Annastacia Palaszczuk was at odds with tourism bosses, claiming Cairns operators didn’t want more flights.
In government, the LNP established the Attracting Aviation Investment Fund with an initial $8 million investment to boost direct aviation capacity into Queensland from key international tourism destinations.
It’s no secret that boosting our aviation capacity has a positive effect on growing the tourism industry across Queensland.
To encourage additional investment, the LNP also released the Queensland Tourism Aviation Blueprint to support the development of destination tourism plans for each region.
We were well on the way to our target of doubling overnight domestic and international visitor expenditure to $30 billion per annum by 2020.
OUR REAL PLAN
A Tim Nicholls-led LNP Government will fight to attract more international tourists by injecting an additional $10 million into the Attracting Aviation Investment Fund and restoring the AAIF as the key driver for securing additional international flights to Queensland.
As part of our commitment and recognising the need to bring international tourists to our key, state-wide attractions, a future LNP Government will ensure regional destinations get their fair share of AAIF funding.
There will not be a repeat of what we saw under Labor in early 2017 when Cairns’ direct flights from mainland China were sent to Brisbane instead.
We will quarantine a minimum of 40 per cent of the AAIF to ensure key destinations in regional Queensland such as Cairns and the Whitsundays don’t miss out to their competitors in the southeast. The southeast currently claims about 70 per cent of Queensland’s population, meaning regional Queensland will get more than its fair share under the LNP.
This is part of our plan to create jobs and diversify Queensland by focusing on tourism as one of the six key drivers of the state’s economy.