Big events and holiday packages to boost Outback Queensland

The Year of Outback Tourism marketing campaign is expected to reach more than three million prospective tourists and double the number of Sunlover bookings in western Queensland, new data has revealed.

Special holiday deals including airfares go on offer from this week as part of the QLD Government’s promotional push to lure more tourists to western Queensland in 2019.

QLD Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the campaign ramps up, with the official launch of a revamped calendar of outback events.

“Tourism is a fast growing sector of Outback Queensland’s economy, with 894,000 visitors spending $676.5 million in the region in the three years ended September 2018,” she said.

“We are determined to build on that momentum and reach one million visitors for the first time – that’s more than 13 per cent growth year on year,’ the Premier said.

“The Year of Outback Tourism campaign aims to double the room nights booked by Sunlover for Outback Queensland for 2019.

“The campaign will reach more than three million people across media channels and comes off the back of last week’s showcase of Outback Queensland in Brisbane City which shared the stories of Outback Queensland events and characters with more than 2.5 million people, achieving almost $1 million in publicity value.

“Whether you’ve been before or not, there is so much to do from exploring Australia’s history, to meeting classic Outback characters or experiencing a range of world-class events.

‘Two things I can guarantee about an outback holiday: you won’t come home hungry and you’ll kick yourself for not doing it sooner,” the Premier said.

QLD Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said the QLD Government was the first government in Queensland’s history to recognise the true potential of tourism in the outback.

“A trip to the outback is on the bucket list for many families. With the new deals announced, now’s the perfect time to enjoy everything outback Queensland has to offer,” she said.

“Our outback communities have done it tough since the floods. One of the best ways to show your support for the people of west Queensland is to head to the outback for a holiday.

“There’s so much to do from exploring Australia’s history, to meeting classic Outback characters or experiencing a range of world-class events,” she said.

Julia Creeks Dirt and Dust Festival early in April 2019 – the first of the big events out west will celebrate its 25th year of bull riding, horse racing, bog snorkelling and the very tough and testing outback triathlon.

“Events like the Julia Creek Dirt and Dust Festival, the iconic Mount Isa Rodeo, Winton’s Way Out West Fest and Birdsville’s Big Red Bash are crucial when it comes to enticing tourists to the outback.

“That’s why we’re focusing on boosting support for our major events, including the first ever Outback Queensland Masters golf series, as a way to strengthen the tourism industry in west Queensland.”

The final event of the Outback Queensland Masters will even feature a ‘Million Dollar Hole-in-One Challenge’, which golfers can qualify for by competing in at least two other events in the series.

Outback Queensland Tourism Association General Manager Peter Homan said the timing of the campaign was important to Outback communities.

“We hope to see an influx of visitors who will see tourism outback is alive and well, while also injecting some much-needed funds into our towns,” Mr Homan said.

“All the roads have re-opened, flood waters have long gone and the area has transformed in to a carpet of emerald green and magnificent wildflowers. If you’ve seen the Outback once, get ready for a whole new experience.

Cinzia Burnes, Executive Director of Helloworld Travel Limited, proud owner and operator of Sunlover Holidays said The Year of Outback Tourism will give visitors the chance to experience the unique Outback Queensland way of life.

“Sunlover Holidays are the Queensland specialists, with over 35 years of award-winning product and service in the region,” Ms Burnes said.

“We know Outback Queensland offers truly exceptional and unforgettable encounters with the unique Outback experiences on offer.

“We are excited to be inspiring more and more visitors to this remarkable region through this campaign.”

QantasLink CEO John Gissing said that the flight and accommodation packages were designed to encourage travellers to venture further for unique experiences in Outback Queensland.

“These packages are great value for customers wanting to explore parts of regional Queensland they haven’t seen before.

Partnerships like these are a great opportunity to drive more tourism right across the state, putting more of Australia’s less-travelled regional destinations on the map,” Mr Gissing said.

Regional Express (Rex) State Manager Queensland Steve Jones said Rex operated to 27 airports throughout Queensland.

“As Australia’s largest independent regional airline Rex understands that regional air services are the lifeblood for these Outback communities,” Mr Jones said.

“Rex’s motto is ‘Our Heart is in the Country’ and so we are proud to be supporting this important sales campaign to stimulate leisure travel throughout the regions.

“It has never been so important to support these regional communities that have endured prolonged drought conditions and more recently the devastating floods.”

Sunlover Holiday packages being advertised include QantasLink and Rex flights and accommodation, Queensland Rail deals and events packages for travel from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to numerous Outback Queensland locations.

To grab an Outback Queensland holiday deal, contact Sunlover Holidays. Packages are on sale from this Friday, 15 March until 4 April 2019.

Examples of Sunlover’s Outback Queensland holiday packages include:

  • Flights and three nights in Roma, including a full day ‘Discover Carnarvon Ranges’ tour – from $599 per person*.
  • Mount Isa Rodeo for three nights in a Glamping Bell tent, includes Gold Class event seating, rock concert, weekend cooked breakfast and ‘Behind the Chute’ tour – from $1,229 per person*.
  • Cairns to Cobbold Gorge package including flights, SUV hire, 3 nights in Cairns, 3 nights at Cobbold Gorge and half day Cobbold Gorge tour – from $1,495 per person*.
  • Outback Queensland Masters Golf packages for multiple legs of the tournament.

*Terms and conditions apply to all deals.

Source: TEQ