A delegation of outback Queensland tourism operators will fly to North America on a mission tomorrow as part of a strategy to promote the region’s dinosaur-related tourism experiences.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the group would study world-leading attractions and promote Queensland’s pre-historic tourism experiences in the US – including dinosaur trails, fossil dig sites and natural history museums.
“Paleo-tourism has the potential to generate millions of dollars for outback Queensland in years to come – this is about making sure we make the most of this opportunity,” she said.
“Tourism supports 3700 outback jobs and pumps $355 million into the local economy but we know there is plenty of room for growth in the future.
“This mission is about growing outback Queensland’s tourism industry to attract more visitors than ever before and create jobs for locals.
“That’s why I declared 2019 the Year of Outback Tourism.”
Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said unique dinosaur-related experiences had great potential to grow the tourism industry in the outback.
“Queensland boasts a unique range of paleo-tourism experiences – including Australia’s largest dinosaur and what’s thought to be the world’s only record of a dinosaur stampede with fossilised footprints of around 150 two-legged dinosaurs,” Ms Jones said.
“We can promote the outback Queensland experience to have global appeal.
“This is part of the Palaszczuk Government’s strategy to grow Queensland’s tourism industry by supporting the development of world-class attractions across the state.
“We’re investing more in tourism than any other government in Queensland’s history – this is in stark contrast to the LNP who cut $188 million from this sector when they were in power.”
Eromanga Natural History Museum founder and director Robyn Mackenzie said the timing of the mission was perfect for her business which was in the final design stages of a future development.
“I am looking forward to gaining valuable learnings from being able to compare our remote dinosaur and natural history museum to other similar museums and travelling with like-minded operators,” Ms Mackenzie said.
“There are many different ways to provide interpretive experiences and this is a wonderful opportunity to look at how others are doing it, before we sign off on a final design and plan for the next stage of the Eromanga Natural History Museum.
“The opportunities for growth are exciting – we started our business from scratch, in a part of Australia that’s never had tourism experiences like this, and we now welcome thousands of visitors per year.
“Visitor spend has increased phenomenally as our business has diversified and paleo is an exciting new industry for Queensland.
“There is the opportunity to grow both domestic and international visitation, and if all of the businesses and councils on this tour can grow this industry then Queensland overall will benefit.”
The mission is an initiative of Tourism and Events Queensland in partnership with the Outback Queensland Tourism Association and outback Queensland tourism operators.
It runs from 26 March – 2 April 2019.