Outback tourism attractions to share in $3 million of Icons funding

The Premier has announced $3 million to boost Outback Queensland tourism and support jobs as part of the Palaszczuk Government’s Unite and Recover for Queensland Jobs plan.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk made the announcement while visiting Mitchell Grass Retreat in Longreach, a new luxury glamping-style accommodation which received funding support through the Palaszczuk Government to attract more tourists to the region.

“Tourism is a major economic driver for our regions and as we unite and recover from COVID-19, helping our tourism operators get through and investing in tourism infrastructure is critical now more than ever,” the Premier said.

“Our $25 million Queensland Tourism Icons Program is helping some of the biggest employers in the tourism industry to continue to pay workers throughout this crisis, particularly while they’re waiting for more funding from other sources.

“We’ve set aside $3 million of that to help our Outback tourism operators and we want the Outback Queensland Tourism Association to provide advice on how to best allocate that funding.

“Our tourism icons are recognised the world over. Not only do they employ thousands of Queenslanders, they lure millions of tourists to our state every year.

“It’s vital that we support these businesses to make it through COVID-19.

“This specifically targeted Icons funding will provide a valuable life line for our regional operators as we carefully re-open our state to firstly intrastate and eventually interstate tourists.”

The Premier said Mitchell Grass Retreat due to open soon was one of several key infrastructure projects her government was delivering for the region under a separate program – the $10 million Outback Tourism Infrastructure Fund.

“Longreach has been written into the folklore of Outback Queensland, so what better place for tourists to get back to nature and experience the magic of the Outback,” the Premier said.

“With Queenslanders now able to travel and holiday in Queensland, make sure you plan your next trip out here, you won’t regret it.”

Tourism Minister Kate Jones said that the Mitchell Grass Retreat was one of several key infrastructure projects the Queensland Government was delivering under a record program to support Queensland’s $27 billion tourism industry.

“The Year of Outback Tourism provided a great opportunity to build our regional attractions and promote our renowned outback hospitality,” she said.

“The Outback Tourism Infrastructure Fund helped establish much needed tourism infrastructure in Outback Queensland with 15 projects awarded funding—from Adels Grove and Cobbold Gorge in the north, all the way down to Roma and Cunnamulla in the south.

Mitchell Grass Retreat owner Tanya Neal said they were excited to bring a new accommodation experience to Longreach.

“All 15 Luxury Ensuite Tents are designed for low environmental impact and to blend seamlessly into the Mitchell Grass landscape,” Ms Neal said.

“So far, interest from visitors and travel agents has been incredible – the positive feedback and shared excitement is fantastic.

“It’s a really exciting new era of tourism for Longreach and Outback Queensland.”

Guests will be able to take in uninterrupted sunset views from their private decks and relax after enjoying all that the outback has to offer.

Scheduled to open in late-July, the Mitchell Grass Retreat is set on a 60-acre property and situated three kilometres from town on the edge of the Thompson River, offering 15 luxury glamping-style tents with ensuites.

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