HIDDEN GEM: Heron Island is one of Gladstone's great tourism hot spots.
HIDDEN GEM: Heron Island is one of Gladstone's great tourism hot spots.

Extra long weekend would benefit Gladstone tourism

THE Gladstone region could benefit from a new tourism campaign encouraging Queenslanders to holiday inside the state.

Analysis compiled by The Courier-Mail has revealed an extra three-day break throughout the year from less than half of the state's adult population would provide a massive shot in the arm to an industry long touted as one of the major pillars of the Queensland economy.

It could inject an extra $1 billion into the state's tourism economy by taking a single long weekend holiday at home.

It has led to calls from industry leaders for Queenslanders to pack their bags and take a holiday for the good of the state.

Statistics also show that Queenslanders spend an average of $170 a night travelling throughout the state.

It means that if just half of the state's population aged over 15 took one extra long weekend in the state it would generate about $1 billion in extra revenue for our $20 billion tourism industry - an increase of about 5 per cent.

Domestic visitor spending in Queensland has increased for the past five quarters in succession as the state's tourism industry continues to go from strength to strength.

Queensland is in a constant race with Victoria for second place behind NSW in domestic visitor numbers, but industry leaders say the Sunshine State is second to none.

Queensland Tourism Industry Council CEO Daniel Gschwind said Queensland offered a range of experiences like nowhere else on Earth.

"We have hundreds of great experiences and destinations around our state just waiting there and you don't necessarily have to travel far to reach something truly extraordinary," he said.

Queensland Tourism Minister Kate Jones said continued growth in the tourism industry would benefit the whole state.

"When you choose to stay in Queensland you are giving a fair go to Queensland tourism," she said.

Tourism and Events Queensland chairman Bob East said extra spending in tourism benefited whole communities.

- with the Courier Mail



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