Fuel prices put brakes on domestic tourism

BRISBANE (Tourism Queensland) - The Beattie Government's fuel subsidy has cushioned the blow for Queensland as domestic tourism dips across Australia.

Tourism Minister Margaret Keech said Queensland's small decline was less than half the national average and way below the slump recorded in New South Wales and Victoria.

"Queensland's 2.4 per cent decline is well below the national average decrease of 5.3 per cent, and below the 6.4 per cent fall for NSW and 7.5 per cent for Victoria," Mrs Keech said.

"The Beattie Government's 8.3 cents a litre fuel subsidy cushioned the blow and this has clearly helped the industry."

Mrs Keech said the decline in Queensland was disappointing but not surprising after such strong results previously on domestic and international fronts.

"Queensland has led the way in tourism growth in recent years and we are determined to remain on top," she said.

"The downturn is temporary and we will regain momentum now fuel prices have fallen and with the onset of the peak holiday season.

"We have gone from paying more than $1.30 a litre in the south-east and more in regional Queensland to less than $1 a litre now.

"The rapid hike in fuel prices took consumers by surprise and both the market and community needed to adjust to the change."

Mrs Keech said Queensland was in a strong position to rebound.

"It's not difficult - we are the best destination in the world," she said.

"We have charted good growth in international tourism over the period - up 7.3 per cent and the outlook is bright on the domestic and international front," she said.

"Air travel to Queensland has shown consistent growth over the past year with the introduction of new services to many of our regional holiday destinations.

"The Beattie Government, through Tourism Queensland, continues to work closely with Queensland's tourism industry on initiatives supporting strong future growth in domestic visitation."

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