9 March, 2021
A further boost for Cairns Tourism
The Queensland government will announce today an additional economic boost for the Cairns hospitality and tourism industry.
Queensland students will be eligible for up to $150 to visit Cairns under the Great Barrier Reef Education program due to be announced today.
This Announcement is due to be announced today however media reports have carried the announcement before official announcement.
The Premier said the $1m program would allow 6500 students an opportunity to enjoy a school excursion on the Great Barrier Reef over the next three years.
“By supporting Queensland students to visit the reef, we’re also supporting local businesses,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“Cairns tourism operators have done it tough over the last 12 months. This initiative will support local jobs and pump cash back into local businesses.”
Member for Cairns and Assistant Tourism Minister was reported in the media over night as saying, “Queensland students travelled interstate for excursions every year.
“We want those funds to be spent in Cairns, supporting local businesses and local jobs.”
Local tourism operators are reported as being thrilled with this new initiative to be launched today.
More to follow, after the State Government sends to all media including Cairns Local News the official announcement.
UPDATE: 08:05am Official Media Release from the QLD Government
More than 6500 Queensland students will get to explore the Great Barrier Reef thanks to a $1 million initiative launched by the Palaszczuk Government today.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the Great Barrier Reef Education Experience Program would allow thousands more Queensland students to enjoy a school excursion on the Great Barrier Reef over the next three years.
“Who would want to go to Canberra when they can visit the Great Barrier Reef?” the Premier said.
“The Great Barrier Reef is one of the seven wonders of the world and it’s right in our backyard.
“I want as many Queensland students as possible to experience its beauty and understand its importance.
“That’s why we’re providing up to $150 for eligible students to get to Cairns and explore the Reef starting in Term Three this year.
“We’re giving schools an incentive to run excursions to the Reef to ensure thousands more students get an opportunity to experience Far North Queensland.
“By supporting Queensland students to visit the Reef, we’re also supporting local businesses.
“Cairns tourism operators have done it tough over the last 12 months.
“This initiative will support local jobs and pump cash back into local businesses.”
Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the Great Barrier Reef Education Experience Program would assist accommodation and reef tour businesses.
“It helps the tourism industry and primary and secondary students to get out into the field for school curriculum activities including reef biodiversity and science,” he said.
“We know FNQ tourism operators have been doing it tough with the COVID pandemic and that’s why Cairns will be the focus of the reef education program.
“This is additional investment by the Palaszczuk Government to encourage young Queenslanders to explore the reef and help support jobs for the Far North’s tourism industry economic recovery.
Member for Cairns and Assistant Tourism Minister Michael Healy said more school excursions on the Reef would help to pump thousands of dollars into the local tourism industry.
“Thousands of Queensland students travel interstate for excursions every year. We want those funds to be spent in Cairns, supporting local businesses and local jobs,” he said.
“Helping young Queenslanders to explore the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef puts money in the pockets of Reef tour operators and builds knowledge for the next generation.
“It’s a win for Cairns tourism and teaches the leaders of tomorrow about the long-term importance and preservation of one of our state’s greatest living natural assets.”
Education Minister Grace Grace said today’s announcement would benefit students across a range of year levels and subjects.
“Excursions are a great learning tool for our teachers and students,” she said.
“Having the opportunity to see the Great Barrier Reef in person could be life changing for many of our students.
“I encourage schools to make the most of this initiative.”
Association of Marine Park Tourism Operators CEO Gareth Phillips welcomed today’s announcement.
“The Great Barrier Reef Marine Tourism Industry has been delivering educational experiences for many years and this subsidy will help schools to get access to these education programs,” Mr Phillips said.
“This will provide pupils with a greater understand of the complexities of the Great Barrier Reef and inspire them further.”
Minister Hinchliffe said the $1 million program for young reef explorers was similar to the Palaszczuk Government’s existing Outback Queensland Education Experience program.
“Over the last decade, we’ve helped up to 6000 students to visit and explore western Queensland and now we’re expanding our educational focus to the wonders of the northern reach of the reef at Cairns,” Mr Hinchliffe said.
“While the return of international travel is still some way off, the Palaszczuk Government is continuing to help tourism in the Far North to rebuild better.”
The program will be rolled out from Term Three, 2021.
All primary and secondary Queensland schools can apply.
For more information, visit dtis.qld.gov.au
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