October 20, 2021 | By Bronwen Largier

With Queensland’s border remaining shut to half of Australia’s population for at least another month or so, Queenslanders are being encouraged to book a “Great Queensland Getaway” to support the state’s tourism industry in the interim.

Launched just before Queensland’s border plans were unveiled, the $8 million campaign will provide up to 50 percent off tourism experiences, and budget flights and bus passes for travel in Queensland, available through the state’s tourism website Queensland.com.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says the campaign is expected to generate $80 million for the state’s tourism industry.

The state government has already delivered over $1 billion in support to the tourism industry which has suffered from the loss of both international and domestic visitors due to border closures.

“I’ve seen firsthand the significant impact the pandemic has had on tourism businesses right throughout the state,” Palaszczuk said.

“We’re working hard to find new ways to support tourism businesses to make it through these challenging times.

“This campaign will entice thousands of Queenslanders to get out and explore their own state.”

The state has partnered with major tourism stakeholders including Virgin Australia, Accor and Greyhound Australia.

Deals are available only through October, presumably to supercharge intrastate bookings before travellers from further afield can return.

As laid out on Monday, Queensland will open up to hotspot areas of Australia for quarantine-free entry from December 17 or earlier, if the state hits its 80 percent double dose vaccination threshold sooner than expected.

In announcing the border plans, Palaszczuk put out a warning to prime tourism and business events destinations like Cairns and the Whitsundays to raise their vaccination rates, which are lagging, so that visitors can return.