Qld rejects tourist levy, mulls park fees

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A tourism levy managed by Queensland councils has been rejected by the state government but changes to national park fees are being considered.


Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has released a 10-year plan to develop the tourism sector ahead of the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Brisbane.

Two new fundraising measures were floated in a report by the government's Tourism Industry Reference Panel in June.

A proposal to allow local governments to impose a levy on tourists to pay for infrastructure and attractions has been rejected by the state government.

Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe says councils have other ways to raise money for tourism in their regions.

"Our commitment to there being no new taxes means that we won't see a tourism levy supported by the Queensland government," he told reporters on Thursday.

The government is still actively considering the expert panel's suggestion it revises fees for national parks and protected areas.

The revenue would be used to pay running costs and reinvest in natural attractions.

The government accepted 46 of the panel's 75 recommendations, with some subject to funding availability or further consideration.

Ms Palaszczuk said the decade leading up to the 2032 games would be a defining time in Queensland's history.

"With 10 years to go until we step out on the global stage for the biggest show in the world, we must be ready to showcase our state, our destinations, our unique experiences and services to the world," she said.

"This strategy sets out the best path forward, setting an ambitious target to more than double the state's tourism overnight expenditure to more than $44 billion a year by 2032."

Ms Palaszczuk also announced 2023 would be the year of accessible tourism in Queensland.

She said $12 million would be spent promoting and raising awareness about tourism for visitors with disabilities and helping small and medium businesses build infrastructure to assist visitors. 

"Almost one-in-five people have a disability and spend about $8 billion on tourism services annually," she said.

"Dedicating 2023 to The Year of Accessible Tourism will drive change and create opportunities for both industry and travellers and create a legacy our state can be proud of."

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