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Brisbane and the southeast is on the cusp of a 5000-room tourism boom that will pour an extra $2.3 billon each year into the region – but a visitor blueprint says that could more than double if we try harder.
A tourism plan given exclusively to The Courier-Mail ahead of its public release today maps out how government and industry are working to supercharge the economy based on better transport and exciting new experiences that will lure more international tourists and keep them spending more for longer.
Bricks and mortar improvements worth $12 billion will transform Brisbane, the Visitor Economy 2031 report says, with additions including more than 5000 new hotel rooms since 2014, the Howard Smith Wharves precinct ($200 million); Brisbane Airport’s second runway ($1.4 billion) and Brisbane International Cruise Terminal ($158 million) both due in 2020; the Queen’s Wharf Brisbane development ($3.6 billion) and the new Queensland Performing Arts Centre ($150 million) due in 2022; and transport projects Brisbane Metro ($994 million) and Cross River Rail ($5.4 billion) due in 2023 and 2024.
While those projects will tip in an extra $2.3 billion into the tourism economy every year, Brisbane and the southeast could more than double that to $6.5 billion by doing a few things better.
The report says convincing just 4 per cent of visitors to change from passing through to an overnight stay, stretching those already staying to remain half a day more, convincing visitors to spend 15 per cent more and selling 8 per cent on an “experience” or activity would put an extra $12 million a day, or $4.2 billion into the economy and create 50,000 jobs.
With a footprint that includes Moreton Bay, the Gold and Sunshine coasts, Logan and Albert rivers, Pumicestone Passage and the Great Dividing Range, there are plenty of attractions to pitch to the world, the report says.
The blueprint was one of the action points developed in The Courier-Mail’s Future Tourism campaign and aims to hold government, industry and businesses to a road map that will create jobs and raise the total annual tourist visitor economy to $16.5 billion by 2031.
But the Visitor Economy 2031: Vision for the Brisbane Region plan says area’s potential can only be realised by spreading tourist visits beyond the capital.
It says “hero experiences” need to be marketed better, that the region needs to speak with one voice to lure bigger-spending tourists and keep them for longer.
That transport infrastructure could be fast-tracked under a City Deal – another The Courier-Mail campaign action point – and given a firm deadline by a successful pitch for the 2032 Olympics.
Specific government departments, councils and industry partners have each been put in charge of making the changes happen, and report back every year.
Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner said the visitor plan would help unlock the potential of the Brisbane region and work had already begun with $10 million to build an international brand targeting direct routes from North America and ASEAN markets.
German visitors Sabine Gehring, 30, David Froede, 36, and baby Benjamin, said they had been drawn to Australia by its family friendly reputation but had been convinced to extend their stay in Queensland.
The state’s beautiful beaches – where they said all Benjamin needs is water and sand to be happy – were a huge attraction to staying longer.
Source: Courier Mail