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Outback profile rises but Cairns wants more attention

March 22, 2019 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Queensland’s government is throwing its weight behind outback tourism – though some operators feel more effort should be made to promote the state’s tropical north coast.

Executives from some of Cairns’ leading tourism attractions feel that Tourism and Events Queensland and Tourism Australia have turned their back on Tropical North Queensland and blundered in shifting their focus from destination marketing to experiences, the Cairns Post has reported.

Operators are irate about tales circulating that half the Great Barrier Reef is dead. They feel tourism authorities should do more to counter these erroneous reports and should put more effort into marketing Cairns and the Whitsundays.

MEANWHILE, Queensland’s Year of Outback Tourism marketing campaign is in full swing and Sunlover Holidays has put special holiday deals (including airfares) into the market as part of the Queensland Government’s promotional push to lure more tourists to western Queensland this year.

The Year of Outback Tourism marketing is expected to reach more than three million prospective tourists and double the number of Sunlover bookings in western Queensland, new data has revealed.

Incomparable Great Barrier Reef off Cairns.

Executive director of Helloworld Travel (owner and operator of Sunlover Holidays), Cinzia Burnes, said The Year of Outback Tourism would give visitors the chance to experience the unique Outback Queensland way of life.

“Sunlover Holidays are the Queensland specialists, with over 35 years of award-winning product and service in the region,” she said.

“We know Outback Queensland offers truly exceptional and unforgettable encounters with the unique Outback experiences on offer. We are excited to be inspiring more and more visitors to this remarkable region through this campaign.”

QantasLink chief executive John Gissing said that the flight and accommodation packages were designed to encourage travellers to venture further for unique experiences in Outback Queensland.

“These packages are great value for customers wanting to explore parts of regional Queensland they haven’t seen before. Partnerships like these are a great opportunity to drive more tourism right across the state, putting more of Australia’s less-travelled regional destinations on the map.”

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk hailed tourism as a fast-growing sector of Outback Queensland’s economy, with 894,000 visitors spending AUD 676.5 million in the region in the three years ended September 2018.

“We are determined to build on that momentum and reach one million visitors for the first time – that’s more than 13% growth year on year,’ Palaszczuk said.

“The Year of Outback Tourism campaign aims to double the room nights booked by Sunlover for Outback Queensland for 2019.

“The campaign will reach more than three million people across media channels and comes off the back of last week’s showcase of Outback Queensland in Brisbane City which shared the stories of Outback Queensland events and characters with more than 2.5 million people, achieving almost $1 million in publicity value.”

The road less travelled. Queensland’s wonderful Outback

Queensland’s Tourism Industry Development Minister, Kate Jones, pointed out that the state’s outback communities had done it tough since the floods.

“One of the best ways to show your support for the people of west Queensland is to head to the outback for a holiday.

“There’s so much to do from exploring Australia’s history, to meeting classic Outback characters or experiencing a range of world-class events,” she said.

Julia Creeks Dirt and Dust Festival early next month – the first of the big events out west will celebrate its 25th year of bull riding, horse racing, bog snorkelling and the very tough and testing outback triathlon.

“Events like the Julia Creek Dirt and Dust Festival, the iconic Mount Isa Rodeo, Winton’s Way Out West Fest and Birdsville’s Big Red Bash are crucial when it comes to enticing tourists to the outback.”

Written by Peter Needham

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