'A BREATH OF FRESH AIR' FOR TOURISM
19 February 2015, Written by Jenna Rathbone
THE Gold Coast tourism industry is confident that a change of government is exactly what the city needs to boost tourism and ensure the industry is not overlooked by a dominating political party.
"We don't expect the minister to have all the answers and intimate knowledge of every issue, however provided she understands the strategic matters which are important for the future of the Gold Coast, we are confident that this meeting will have a good outcome."
"She reiterated the government's commitment to additional funding which was welcomed by all the people present, particularly the commitment to increasing resources for tourism and events Queensland and for the attraction for new major events."
Winter says the issue of the cruise ship terminal was not raised, however it is on his agenda.
"Unless the Gold Coast can develop significant new tourism infrastructure such as the ASF proposal, we won't continue to meet the changing expectations of visitors and struggle for relevance in an incredibly challenging international market place," he says.
"It's about jobs and the creation of jobs."
Labor's pre-election promise includes increasing the tourism budget $10 million a year over the next four years.
Winter says $10 million a year isn't going to make up the shortfall that was experienced over the last year alone and one of the key agenda items in his meeting today was ensuring funding would continue for tourism initiatives.
He says in particular that funds for marketing need to be a priority and long-term certainty needs to be established in the industry.
"Just recently the announcement made by the NSW Government of over $120 million additional to attract events is very concerning," says Winter.
"If we continue to have the funding levels that Queensland has had over the last three years, we will continue to struggle."
Gold Coast Tourism is calling for the Labor government to implement the commitments outlined in the Gold Coast Destination Tourism Management Plan - commit investment to vital tourism and transport infrastructure and increase marketing, events and business events funding.
Author: Jenna Rathbone
About: Jenna Rathbone is a Queensland-based journalist who writes on a range of issues including business and property affairs and social issues.Connect via: Twitter