The Palaszczuk Government is rolling out bonus Holiday Dollars vouchers to boost the recovery of Queensland’s tourism industry.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the extra tourism vouchers had been requested by operators and would be delivered as part of the government’s COVID-19 Economic Recovery plan.

“Thirty-eight thousand extra Holiday Dollars vouchers will be released on the Gold Coast, Brisbane and in Cairns,” the Premier said.

“We’ve seen just how successful Holiday Dollars are and how well they support tourism operators.

“Campaigns like this are vital to our economic recovery – supporting local jobs and generating more income for businesses.

“Already, more than $7 million worth of bookings have been made in areas where the schemes been rolled out for holidaymakers.

“Holiday Dollars vouchers are a big hit with tourism operators.

“They drive visitors right to their businesses which in turn supports local communities.

“We want to see the industry’s economic recovery continue and that’s what our Holiday Dollars program is specifically designed to achieve.”

In Cairns, 9000 visitors are already receiving $200 Holiday Dollars in the arrivals hall at Cairns Airport.

And there are second chance draws for 19,000 Brisbane and 10,000 Gold Coast Holiday Dollar vouchers, both valued at $100.

Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said Holiday Dollars were helping destinations who had lost significant numbers of international visitors to the pandemic.

“The closure of the international border during the pandemic has kept Queenslanders safe but it’s blown a $6 billion hole in the State’s visitor economy,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

“Holiday Dollars are encouraging Queenslanders to explore more of our own unique backyard.

“When tourism is doing well, whole regions do well.

“For every dollar invested by the Palaszczuk Government in Holiday Dollars, they’ve returned on average $2.57 to tourism operators and their local economies.       

“We’ve also noticed visitors with vouchers tend to spend more like international tourists by upgrading to premium experiences on reef tours or whale watching boats.

“Holiday Dollars mean more visitors supporting local jobs and the Palaszczuk Government’s COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan.”

Member for Gaven and Environment Minister Meaghan Scanlon said Queenslanders who missed out on the initial round of Gold Coast Holiday Dollars would be included in a second chance draw.

“We know Holiday Dollars vouchers were more popular than hot cakes on the Gold Coast,” Ms Scanlon said.

“The 70,000 Queenslanders who didn’t receive a voucher in the first draw will get a second chance at 10,000 new Holiday Dollar vouchers to spend on accommodation or the Gold Coast’s many world-class visitor experiences.

“So far, more than $1 million in bookings have been made with Holiday Dollars vouchers on the Gold Coast which offer a 50 per cent discount up to $100.”    

Destination Gold Coast CEO Patricia O’Callaghan said the extra vouchers for the Gold Coast would provide operators with a lifeline during a particularly challenging period.

“Operators need support more than ever, and this opportunity will provide a shot in the arm for tourism businesses doing it very tough,” Ms O’Callaghan said.

“We have listened to our industry and worked with the Queensland Government via Tourism and Events Queensland to respond quickly.

“This is a further $1 million that we are committing to the Gold Coast Holiday Dollars program.

“It’s about Queenslanders backing Queenslanders; enjoying a getaway, playing on our beaches, exploring the rainforest hinterland, and our attractions and experiences on offer.”

Dreamworld CEO Greg Yong said they were incredibly supportive of the initiative and were hoping to welcome new voucher recipients at SkyPoint and Dreamworld.

“We love helping to create memories and Queenslanders are sure to have an unforgettable Gold Coast experience with us,” Mr Yong said.

“Guests who get in quick can enjoy Dreamworld’s extended weekend of Winterfest festivities on 17-18 July, where Dreamworld becomes a winter wonderland.”

There are 138 Gold Coast Holiday Dollar deals on offer across accommodation and experiences including an exclusive SkyPoint experience ($100 off SkyPoint Climb and Dine bundle for two) and a discount on Dreamworld tickets (50% off a 1 Day Adult Ticket), plus many more.

Bookings can be made with Gold Coast Holiday Dollars vouchers until 21 July for use by 17 September. 

The Brisbane $100 Holiday Dollars campaign will be extended for use by 15 August with 19,000 vouchers going into a second chance draw on Monday July 12.

Bonus Brisbane Holiday Dollars can be used for bookings and experiences by August 15 with 208 independent tourism operators.

Visitors flying into the Far North will receive a $200 Holiday Dollars voucher on arrival at Cairns Airport.

Member for Cairns and Assistant Tourism Minister Michael Healy said Holiday Dollars had generated $2 million for 130 tourism operators in Cairns.

“All up, we have 9,000 Holiday Dollars vouchers to deliver another much-needed boost for operators and our COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan,” Mr Healy said.

“We’re targeting visitors as they step off the plane at Cairns Airport, but also encouraging locals to explore more of our wonderful backyard and continue supporting the tourism industry.”

Tourism Tropical North Queensland Chief Executive Officer Mark Olsen said the Cairns Holiday Dollars showed people that there was more to a Cairns and Great Barrier Reef holiday than relaxing in the warm weather.

“Walking with a Traditional Owner through the world’s oldest rainforest or snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef with a Master Reef Guide enables a deeper appreciation of these World Heritage areas,” he said.

Experience Co General Manager Adam Jones said the vouchers had made a huge impact on bookings for the company’s reef, rainforest and adventure activities.

“The Cairns Holiday Dollars have given domestic travellers an incentive to go out and do activities which has kept our staff engaged during the various lockdowns,” he said.

Cairns Aquarium Owner Daniel Leipnik said he was happy to see the vouchers being used again to stimulate bookings with many families choosing the family admission package as an easy way to spend a few hours in town prior to their flight departure.

“The Holiday Dollars initiative accounted for a significant uptake of our Aquarium by Twilight guided evening tour and Seafood Platter upgrade, which was incredibly popular for visitors seeking to learn about the reef animals’ nocturnal behaviours while enjoying a taste of the region’s high-quality fresh seafood.”

Cairns Holiday Dollars are valid for bookings and visitor experiences until 30 July.

Holiday Dollars give the voucher holder up to 50 per cent off tourism experiences, up to $200 (inc. GST).

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