A AU$5 million recovery package aimed at driving visitation to Cairns and Far North Queensland in the wake of the devastating Tropical Cyclone Jasper and recent flooding has been welcomed by peak industry body Accommodation Australia.

The Federal and Queensland State government initiative includes discounted airfares and accommodation which is expected to boost business for local tourism operators.

Trip cancellations throughout December resulted in a sharp drop in occupancies, from mid-70% down to 30%, equating to millions of dollars of lost revenue, according to Accommodation Australia CEO, Michael Johnson.

“Far North Queensland has taken a blow in recent years with the pandemic and destructive weather events, but Cairns and the surrounding areas are ready to welcome back tourists and this package is great news for the area,” Johnson said.

“All tourism operators are back operating daily on the reef and with discounted airfares and accommodation there is no better time to go and experience this stunning location and what it has to offer.”

Discounted flights

The Qantas Group has launched a special sale to encourage Australians to visit North Queensland.

With the support of the Australian and Queensland Governments, and Tourism and Events Queensland, Qantas is offering fares that are up to 50% off, with domestic Economy sale fares starting from $99 one-way, while Jetstar fares are up to 45% off, with sale fares starting from as low as $79 one-way.

The sale includes flights to and from most capital cities for travel from mid-January to the end of March 2024.

“Tropical North Queensland communities and businesses have faced incredibly challenging circumstances during this holiday period,” said Qantas Chief Customer Officer, Catriona Larritt.

“These special airfares will help boost the region’s recovery and rally Australians to visit North Queensland in the coming weeks and months.

“These heavily discounted fares offer great value for money, with customers able to lock in a last-minute getaway before the summer school holidays end.”