The Queensland Government program is offering up $8 million in financing for tourism projects, with grants to start at $1 million and max out at $4 million.
However the grant recipient must match the funding provided, which rules out many smaller tourism businesses and those without large cash reserves, particularly after the ravages of the first pandemic years.
With the first round of grants to fund a minimum of two projects and a maximum of eight, the program appears to be aimed at major infrastructure work.
The state government has also stipulated that it is looking to fund projects with support coastal and marine tourism, heritage and cultural tourism and ecotourism and sustainability.
Although there is a focus on environmental tourism, environmental offset costs of a project are ineligible for funding and must be met by the applicant.
Suggestions of what might be funded include marine tourism infrastructure like jetties and pontoons, resort accommodation, First Nations tourism experiences, virtual or augmented reality projects which enhance tourism experiences and even dinosaur tourism projects.
“We know new tourism experiences and infrastructure mean more visitors sharing our great lifestyle and backing good Queensland jobs,” said Queensland’s tourism minister Stirling Hinchliffe.
“Growing Future Tourism is an important part of the Palaszczuk Government’s ongoing commitment to supporting operators to building back a better, nation-leading visitor economy.
“This program puts funding behind new and enhanced visitor experiences and infrastructure identified by the industry’s Towards Tourism 2032 roadmap to drive domestic and international growth.
“Brisbane’s 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games are an exceptional 20-year opportunity for destination Queensland to shine on tourism’s international stage,” he said.
The fund is open for expressions of interest now until Monday September 11, with preferred applicants then invited to submit a more detailed proposal.
A second $7 million round of funding with open in 2024.