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Visitor infrastructure and experience grants up for grabs

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Visitor infrastructure and experience grants up for grabs
Queensland is opening the second round of funding for major visitor infrastructure projects, while the Northern Territory has grants on offer for visitor experiences.

The state government in Queensland has put another $15 million on the table for large infrastructure projects through its Growing Future Tourism fund.

Between $1 million and $4 million is available for each successful project, with the applicant to match the funding provided by the state.

Projects should focus or have an impact on at least one of the following: coastal and marine tourism, heritage and cultural tourism, ecotourism and sustainability.

In the first round of funding offered last year, five projects shared in $15 million in funding, with several of them having potential to host business events guests.

Four new two-bedroom eco-carbons at Australia Zoo’s Crocodile Hunter Lodge, a 50m jetty at Lindeman Island, a new training and research precinct at Currumbin Wildlife Hospital and a new marina tourism hub with event capabilities in Townsville all received a slice of the funding.

“The real beauty of the Growing Future Tourism Round 1 was that we saw five uniquely Queensland projects being delivered that stretched right across the state,” said Queensland Tourism Minister Michael Healy.

“The $15 million Miles Government investment leverages a further $66 million in private investment to make them happen, building tourism infrastructure that will attract visitors long into the future.”

The Lindeman Island funding is of particular significance, with the former Club Med resort on the island shutting down in 2012 and the island remaining out of service since then. With intentions to rebuild the resort stalling under a new owner years later, the revival of a resort on Lindeman Island now looks likely given news of the jetty grant. It was bought by Singaporean company, Wellsmart Group, in 2023.

“We are immensely grateful for the government’s support and trust in our vision for Lindeman Island,” said Wellsmart Group director, Tony Jia.

“We believe this grant is a great boost in confidence and will become a pivotal step towards the makeover of Lindeman Island resort.

“The grant marks the beginning of an exciting journey, and we will proudly announce that Lindeman Island will become a beacon of sustainable development.”

Expressions of interest for the Growing Future Tourism fund open tomorrow and close on April 29, 2024. Shortlisted projects will be invited to submit a full business case. Successful applicants will be announced in September.

In the Northern Territory, the government has opened up the latest funding round for the Visitor Experience Enhancement Program.

The territory government is offering $3 million in total grants, with up to $100,000 available per project. Like the Queensland grants, applicants must match the funding provided by government.

“The Territory Labor Government’s Visitor Experience Enhancement Program offers a wonderful opportunity for operators who seek to deliver better tourism options in the territory,” said the NT’s tourism and hospitality minister, Joel Bowden.

“We’re proud to have awarded over $12.3 million and supported 350 businesses over the past six years upgrading hundreds of facilities and experiences across the territory.”

In previous rounds of funding, international hotel groups have used funding from the program to improve their properties.

Applications are open now until May 7, 2024.

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