QLD Budget: Tourism a big winner with $33.5m carrot

THE Queensland Government will chip in for more international flights and higher digital engagement in an attempt to make Queensland China's number one tourist destination.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said Tuesday's Budget would include $33.5 million to attract more tourists from Asia.

Speaking at a breakfast at QUT Ms Palaszczuk said the package, part of an additional $225 million in Advance Queensland funding, was designed to attract tourists and innovate the sector.

"This initiative will increase visitation rates by attracting more airline routes to Queensland from our Asian neighbours," she said.

"But this package is not just about new flights - it will focus heavily on innovation in our tourism sector, especially through expanding the industry's digital capability.

"We can't just rely on traditional campaigns. We need to change, we need to adapt; it will be digital, online campaigns that reach the masses into the future."

Tourism Minister Kate Jones said the government was "laser focused" on attracting the growing Chinese middle class to Queensland.

"We want to ensure that Queensland tourism businesses are at the forefront in the decision making of Chinese holiday makers to choose our state," Ms Jones said.

"We know that tourism is one of the great winners in the Queensland economy. And this new innovation fund, Connecting with Asia, will ensure that Queensland grows its market share and creates tourism jobs right throughout Queensland, particularly in regional communities," she said.

LNP treasurer Scott Emerson said the government had gone on a "spending spree" in the lead-up to the Budget.

"Labor loves spending money but it has to come clean," Mr Emerson said.

"Again last week we saw the situation where Curtis Pitt said he wants to increase taxes but he hasn't said what taxes are going to go up and who's going to pay them," he said.

Mr Emerson said he was worried the government was favouring some parts of Queensland over others.

"I'm concerned to see Labor seems to be picking winners and losers in terms of its budget strategy," he said.

"The LNP has been very clear. We believe we should be supporting all Queenslanders rather than Ms Palaszczuk talking about picking winners and losers across Queensland." - ARM NEWSDESK

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