Entries have now closed for the Palaszczuk Government’s $3 million ‘Cairns Holiday Dollars’ program.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said 106,212 people registered to go into the ballot to receive one of 15,000 tourism vouchers.
Successful applicants will be drawn on Friday and winners will be advised next week.
“The response from Queenslanders has been absolutely overwhelming. But I’m not surprised. Far North Queensland is one of the most beautiful places in the world to visit,” the Premier said.
“I thank everyone who applied for a voucher and urge Queenslanders – even if you’re not successful in the ballot, please book a holiday in the Far North in 2021.
“Tourism operators are doing it tough. This is about supporting local businesses and local jobs.”
Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said Cairns Holiday Dollars would pump millions of real dollars into the Far North’s economy.
“We expect the Palaszczuk Government voucher draw, coupled with a new Queensland’s Good to Go TV campaign, will deliver a $14 million boost in visitor spending for the Far North,” Mr Hinchliffe said.
“Even before the draw, Cairns Holiday Dollars are paying dividends for tourism operators with a surge in holiday bookings.
“More than two thirds of voucher registrations on the Queensland.com website are Brisbane residents.
“The total number of expressions of interest in getting hold of a voucher is more than three times than expected, confirming Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef as Queensland’s place to be.
“When visitors know they’re getting a discount on a world-class holiday experience they’re more likely to open their wallets wider.
“More visitors spending up is great news for jobs and Tropical North Queensland’s economic recovery.”
Member for Cairns Michael Healy said the Cairns Holiday Dollars website had been inundated with more than 169,123 clicks over the last three days.
“We know people are itching to have a holiday. This initiative will convert that sentiment into bookings,” he said.
“Once people get a taste of Far North Queensland, they keep coming back.
“From the Reef to the rainforest and more than 1000 visitor experiences, there’s something for everyone in the Far North.
“I urge people to get online and capitalise on some of the great deals we have on offer right now.”
Tourism Tropical North Queensland Chief Executive Officer Mark Olsen encouraged the people who had registered to start planning their Cairns and Great Barrier Reef holiday.
“Our destination has world-class experiences that take in the Great Barrier Reef and the world’s oldest rainforest and they are available exclusively to domestic travellers,” he said.
“There has never been a better time to try white water rafting, to learn to dive or to see unique wildlife like the southern cassowary.”