Apr 22, 2019

Media Release – Labor will bring more tourists to Cairns – Monday, 22 April 2019

A Shorten Labor Government will seek to attract more visitors to Cairns and invest in local tourism, through a $25 million commitment to Tourism Australia to encourage more international and domestic visitors to visit the tourism jewels of Australia.

For the first time since 2013, Tourism Australia will be able to market attractions domestically – making sure that all visitors at home and abroad know about the uniqueness of destinations such as Cairns.

The Liberals axed the ability of Tourism Australia to market domestically in 2013.

A renewed focus on domestic marketing would showcase the beauty of destinations like Cairns, encouraging domestic tourists to explore their backyard and holiday at home.

This additional funding would also go towards strategies to attract new international flights to Cairns – opening up the city to the world.

Tourism Australia will roll out joint marketing activities between airports, airlines and government to make destinations such as Cairns more attractive for international visitors. This would encourage airlines to put on additional flights and develop new routes, expanding Cairns’ overseas links.

Tourism Tropical North Queensland has identified that Cairns Airport could accommodate an additional 750,000 international passengers per year, which would equate to four daily flights and $800 million per year additional economic benefit to the $14 billion Tropical North Queensland economy.

A Shorten Labor Government will also incentivise the development of new routes to destinations like Cairns by allowing foreign airlines more capacity to major gateways where services are linked to regional airports.

This will involve services to major gateways not being counted against available capacity (up to a limit), provided the airline operates via or beyond to a regional airport.

This comes in addition to our other tourism-focused announcements for North Queensland, including a $1 billion investment from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility to a Northern Australia Tourism Infrastructure Fund to boost partnerships with the tourism sector and provide incentives for investment in new and upgraded tourism infrastructure.

Unlike the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government, which forgot to even appoint a Tourism Minister for its first two years, Labor understands the crucial role tourism plays in our nation’s economy, which is currently our fifth largest export industry.

This plan has been developed following years of consultation with the tourism sector.

We will continue to work with the tourism sector to ensure it maintains its leading role as a major source of employment and contributor to GDP.

Only Labor is committed to more jobs, more tourism opportunities and a strong economy for Cairns.

This election is a choice between Labor’s plan for better hospitals and better schools, or bigger tax loopholes for the top end of town under the Liberals.

After six years of Liberal cuts and chaos, our united Labor team is ready.