Funding to promote tourism

A COALITION plan that could see up to $100,000 a year to promote tourism to the region has been welcomed by the industry.

Bundaberg North Burnett Tourism general manager James Corvan said he would welcome all sources of funding.

“It depends on people (being elected), but it is good to see we are being considered for funding,” he said.

“We have given Labor some ideas — a bit of a wish list, really.”

Mr Corvan said one concept suggested was a scheme to keep tourists in the Burnett region longer and “getting people to spread their goodwill around in the region”.

Member for Hinkler Paul Neville said the Coalition planned to inject an extra $62 million into Australia's tourism sector, including $14 million in annual grants to regional tourism organisations. With a background in tourism and regional development, Mr Neville said he knew tourism provided a significant income boost to regional communities, particularly Bundaberg.

“In government, the Coalition will create new opportunities for tourism to flourish in regional areas, including our own,” he said.

“Nationwide, tourism employs close to 500,000 people, earns $24 billion in export earnings and contributes $92 billion to our national economic activity.”

Mr Neville said the Coalition's funding package also included $40 million to create a tourism infrastructure and development fund to support projects that helped drive the development of local tourism projects.

“Applications will be assessed for their potential to contribute to tourism employment and growth,” he said.

Tourism Research Australia would also be provided with $8 million to identify emerging trends and gaps in the market, making the industry more sustainable.

Mr Neville said the Coalition had already committed funding to a new initiative to attract more business events tourism to Australia, bringing its total commitment to the tourism industry to $90 million.

“The more tourists we can attract to our local areas, either through private tourism or business events such as conferences, the greater the economic and job prospects for our towns,” he said.

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