Evidence continues to mount on the failure of Queensland’ tourism promotion policies, which I’ve commented on before (TEQ deserved funding cut – no turnaround in share of international visitors). New Tourism Research Australia data shows that, while domestic tourism (Australians traveling in Australia) is growing nicely at a national level, it experienced negligible growth in Queensland in 2013-14 (see the chart I’ve taken from TEQ’s Domestic Tourism Snapshot below). The data also suggest a decline in total tourism expenditure in Queensland (p. 1 of the Snapshot).
The under-performance of tourism is a concern given it is one of the so-called four pillars of the Queensland economy, and is especially important in some regions, such as the Gold Coast and Far North. The under-performance also raises questions about whether the $100 million spent on Tourism and Events Queensland might be better spent. I’m therefore glad that the Productivity Commission’s new research project on tourism will consider “the role of government, including the rationale for government involvement in the tourism industry.” I expect the Commission will find very little rationale exists.