Qld tourism 'not on track' to hit $30b by 2020 target

Mooloolaba Beach on the Sunshine Coast.
Mooloolaba Beach on the Sunshine Coast. john mccutcheon

A $70,000 audit has concluded Queensland's tourism entities are working more effectively but are not on track to achieve a $30 billion growth target.

The LNP-initiated DestinationQ conferences set strategic objectives for the tourism industry and an aspirational goal of doubling visitor expenditure to $30 billion in nominal dollars by 2020.

A Queensland Audit Office report, a follow-up on a 2012 performance audit on three of the public sector entities responsible for tourism in Queensland was tabled in Queensland Parliament on Tuesday.

Both reports have focused on ways to make the organisations more effective and, in turn, bolster tourism industry growth and development.

All recommendations were accepted.

Tourism Queensland and Events Queensland have since merged and the government department has experienced changes too.

The follow-up audit found the number of higher quality hotels, visitor services and facilities, major events and attractions had increased over the past three years.

Auditor-General Andrew Greaves concluded this had improved the supply side, consistent with strategic directions set for 2010-14, and provided a strong foundation to accommodate growth in demand.

But he said the demand growth rate, as measured by visitor expenditure, remained a challenge.

"Queensland is not on track to achieve its aspirational high growth 2020 target of $30 billion," he said.

"Total overnight visitor expenditure in Queensland was $17.938 billion for the year to September 30, 2014.

"This is well below the December 2014 interim high growth target of $21.462 billion.

"It is also not much more than the forecast of $16.977 billion, made by Tourism Research Australia in 2010, which assumed only 'organic' growth."

Tourism Department director-general Richard Eden said, in a letter attached as an appendix, he was generally satisfied with the report's findings.

He said the department was working on finding a useful and meaningful measure to follow through on a further recommendation on efficiencies.

Tourism and Events Queensland chief Leanne Coddington said the organisation had now embedded many of the audit's recommendations into its core processes.

Topics:  tourism travel

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