The Palaszczuk Government will expand the state’s popular ‘Holiday Dollars’ travel voucher scheme to the Whitsundays next month, in a move set to boost the region’s tourism industry.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the government had partnered with Tourism Whitsundays to offer 6000 vouchers worth $200 each for visitors to enjoy tourism experiences throughout the Whitsundays.
“This will pump millions of dollars back into our economy and help tourism operators doing it tough,” the Premier said.
“Today’s announcement will support local jobs and give Queenslanders an even bigger incentive to holiday at home and support their mates.
“The Whitsundays is one of the most beautiful destinations in the world.
“The Holiday Dollars program will allow Queenslanders to experience more.
“There’s so much to do in this region. I encourage all visitors to explore the reef, beaches, islands and the Whitsunday coast.
“It’s been a challenging 12 months for tourism businesses in the Whitsundays – many of which are geared primarily towards the international market.
“The extension of the Holiday Dollars program could generate more than $5 million in visitor spend for local tourism operators.
“With our pilot program in Cairns, we’ve seen how successful this program has been in driving bookings into local businesses at a time they need it most.
“The extension of the Holiday Dollars program into the Whitsundays will support tourism operators and local jobs and will give Queenslanders another reason to get out and explore their own backyard.”
Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the Whitsundays Holiday Dollars vouchers had been tailored to visitors already in the Whitsundays and locals from 4 May.
“We’ve worked closely with the Whitsundays to come up with vouchers that work best for them,” Mr Hinchliffe said.
“There are positive reports of strong forward bookings for accommodation in the Whitsundays.
“Whitsundays Holiday Dollars will focus on getting visitors out on the water and into tours.
“There is so much to explore with 74 islands just offshore and stunning world-class visitor experiences.
“From Great Barrier Reef tours and Whitehaven Beach to scenic flights and wildlife, these experiences will stay with you for a lifetime.
“If you’ve booked a stay in the Whitsundays, you owe it to yourself to claim a voucher and start making holiday memories.”
Mr Hinchliffe said the $1.2 million expansion of Holiday Dollars into the Whitsundays would benefit tourism operators.
“We know areas that relied on international tourism have been hit hardest by the pandemic,” he said.
“Experiences like overnight sailing trips are favourites with overseas travellers.
“We’ve customised Whitsunday Holiday Dollars to encourage domestic visitors and locals to try experiences they might previously not considered.”
Holiday Dollars have been announced for Brisbane and Whitsundays following the program’s success in Cairns.
The Palaszczuk Government is working with Gold Coast tourism operators to develop a similar program in the coming weeks.
“Holiday Dollars is one part of the Palaszczuk Government’s comprehensive $800 million strategies to support Queensland’s tourism industry to rebuild and rebuild better for the future,” Mr Hinchliffe said.
Tourism Whitsundays Chief Executive Officer Tash Wheeler said the Holiday Dollars Program is a welcomed and exciting opportunity for the region.
“The Whitsunday region offers residents and visitors an abundance of experiences to explore right on our doorstep from award-winning beaches to spectacular coral reefs and lush rainforests, and there’s never been a better time to soak up the Queensland sunshine in the Heart of the Great Barrier Reef,” Ms Wheeler said.
“With direct access to the 74 Whitsunday Islands, we look forward to welcoming and showcasing visitors to the region very soon with their Whitsundays Holiday Dollars.”
Whitsundays Holiday Dollars
The Whitsundays Holiday Dollars campaign will launch on 4 May 2021, with holidaymakers (and locals) already in the region able to claim a voucher for use during their stay.
The vouchers will cover 50 per cent of the booking cost with eligible tourism experience operators, up to a maximum of $200.00.
For more information, visit Whitsundaysholidaydollars.com.au.
The 74 Whitsunday Islands lie between the northeast coast of Queensland, Australia, and the Great Barrier Reef, a massive stretch of coral teeming with marine life. Most of the islands are uninhabited.