School tourism to take kids to bush

A PROGRAM taking city kids to the country will continue for three years with the Queensland Government set to announce an extension.

The Outback Education Tour Subsidy Scheme offers schools up to $130 per student to visit Queensland's west.

The government said the expanded program offered educational benefits for children and tourism benefits for the regions.

The Peter Beattie Labor government introduced the program in 2001.

LNP Tourism Minister Jann Stuckey said the program had supported 1637 students from 42 schools since then.

"A greater range of experiences will be on offer providing a boost for tourism businesses with students staying in local accommodation and visiting a range of attractions," she said.

"This scheme is a fantastic example of partnerships in action and also supports the industry goal of achieving $30 billion in annual overnight visitor expenditure by 2020."

Ms Stuckey said the program would be expanded into Queensland's north-west.

Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek said the subsidy gave years five to eight students the opportunity to see the Queensland outback for themselves.

"Visiting the bush gives students the chance to learn about Australia's rich heritage, discover our pioneering spirit and see the icons that shape our nation," he said.

"I'm proud to support this fantastic initiative and encourage all Queensland schools to apply."

For more information about the subsidy, including suggested excursion itineraries, maps and rates, visit teq.queensland.com/outbackeducation.

- APN NEWSDESK



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