Funding of almost $465,000 will be allocated through the Federal Government’s Tourism Demand Driver Infrastructure (TDDI) programme to two projects which will enhance the experience of visitors to the Townsville area and Palm Island on the Great Barrier Reef.
Matching funding provided by the Townsville City Council ($304,500), the Palm Island Aboriginal Shire Council ($30,000) and the Queensland State Government ($134,650) will bring the total value of the investment to $933,800.
The Castle Hill Walking Track Upgrade will receive $300,000 in TDDI funding to improve the bush experience of walking in Castle Hill. This will happen through repairs to the track as well as building new lookouts and seating.
The Coolgaree Bay Foreshore Redevelopment Stage One will receive funding of $164,650 through TDDI to improve the foreshore area of Palm Island, helping to drive growth in visitor numbers and boost local jobs.
Townsville based Government Senator Ian Macdonald said the projects would make it easier for visitors to Townsville and Palm Island to experience what those areas really have to offer.
“We know that international visitors are important to regional Australia, where 45 cents of every tourist dollar is spent. Over the past three years, the number of visitors to regional Australia and their spending has increased by 29 per cent,” Senator Macdonald said.
“Tourism is important when it comes to helping local economies. On Palm Island the foreshore development will also create an avenue for greater cultural expression on the island, and a deeper experience of its history and nature.”
Member for Townsville Scott Stewart said an investment in tourism was an investment in jobs and the funding would boost local attractions and deliver benefits across the community.
“The Queensland Government is committed to supporting business opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the Coolgaree Bay Foreshore Redevelopment project will help the community’s economy and growing tourism industry,” Mr Stewart said.
“This is especially the case in regional Queensland where we need to keep providing visitors with new experiences and quality products and services to keep them coming back.
“The work to upgrade the Castle Hill Walking Track would be welcomed by both the community and tourism operators.
“These upgrades will mean more people can enjoy this wonderful walk that ends in one of the best views in Queensland.”
In the year ending March 2017, the number of international visitors to Queensland’s Northern tourism region increased by six per cent to 130,000. These visitors spent $88 million in the region, In the same period, the region received 1.1 million domestic overnight visitors who spent $758 million.
The Tourism Demand Driver Infrastructure programme will invest $43.1 million over four years, including $7.9 million in Queensland, to drive demand, improve quality and increase tourism expenditure to assist the tourism industry in meeting Tourism 2020 targets.