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State tourism conference rides wave of change

Gladstone, QLD (Tourism Queensland) - More than 150 tourism delegates from throughout the state will converge on Gladstone today for the start of Queensland's annual State Tourism Conference.

Tourism Minister Margaret Keech, who was in Gladstone to welcome delegates to the three-day conference, said representatives from regional tourism organisations, local government and industry could look forward to a comprehensive program aimed at developing new skills, networks and standards within the tourism industry. "This year's conference will cover a diverse range of topics such as benchmarking, branding strategies, managing and recruiting volunteers, web development and customer service," Mrs Keech said.

"The theme, Riding the Wave of Change, is timely considering the trials and triumphs the industry has faced in recent years, as well as those to come. The Beattie Government recognises the major contribution tourism makes to Queensland's economy. Tourism employs over 150,000 Queenslanders, generates revenue of more than $16.8 billion for the Smart State each year and has become Queensland's second largest export industry. But it is essential we plan for the future and have the appropriate infrastructure, products and services to be able to attract and accommodate growth and sustain a viable, vibrant industry over time." Mrs Keech said the Beattie Government was currently collecting industry feedback from across the State on Queensland's first Tourism Strategy, a long-term blueprint for the tourism industry.

"The Strategy will establish a clear and common vision for sustainable tourism growth over the next 10 years," she said. Mrs Keech congratulated Gladstone Area Promotion and Development Limited on the calibre of the Conference program and speakers, and wished delegates a successful and worthwhile convention.

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