The Queensland government has launched new travel vouchers in a bid to revitalise the far north of the state’s tourism industry.
On Sunday, the state government announced it will release 15,000 travel vouchers for Queenslanders wanting to visit Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef.
The Cairns Holiday Dollars vouchers which are only available to residents of the sunshine state are valued up to $200 and are designed to be a 50 per cent discount on eligible tourist attractions in the region.
Queensland’s tropical tourism industry has been decimated from the coronavirus pandemic, with state and international border closures halting travel to communities solely reliant on inbound travellers.
“Tourism has taken a hit during the pandemic, and those who depend on international visitors have been doing it particularly tough – especially up north,” Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said in a social media post.
“So if you‘ve ever wanted to visit Tropical North Queensland, now’s the time – Queensland is the place to be.”
From Monday, holiday goers can register interest for the vouchers on Queensland.com.
The draw to receive a voucher will be between March 8 and 11, with successful applicants needing to book a tourism experience between March 15 and June 25.
The implementation of the vouchers comes after a plea by Ms Palaszczuk to the Morrison government to extend JobKeeper beyond March 31, saying one in 20 Queenslanders are at risk of losing their job.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg last week blasted the Queensland premier for “grandstanding and petty politicking” regarding federal stimulus measures brought in to cushion the financial blow of the coronavirus pandemic.
“The reality is, the Morrison government has already delivered to Queenslanders more than three times the amount of economic support than the Palaszczuk government has committed to,” Mr Frydenberg wrote in The Courier Mail.
“No amount of grandstanding and petty politicking by the Queensland Premier will detract from the indisputable fact that when it comes to the economic response in Queensland, the Morrison government has done the bulk of the heavy lifting.”
Ms Palaszczuk hit back at the claims, saying she is relaying the concerns of industries such as tourism still battered by the pandemic.
“It’s about listening to people … (and) tourism operators in Cairns are really worried about their future,” she said.
“I’m really worried about what happens at the end of this month when JobKeeper ends.”