Tourism Future Secure for Capricorn Region!

RTOCEOs with MinisterFor the first time in twenty five years (25), the State government has committed long term funding for Regional Tourism Organisations (RTO’s) in Queensland which enables Capricorn Enterprise to plan for three (3) years in partnership with its local government and business stakeholders, instead of year on year.

The Board of Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ) recently ratified the distribution of funds to the official thirteen (13) RTO’s, with Capricorn Enterprise set to receive $393,000 per annum for the next three years (2016/17, 2017/18, 2018/19) – a $93,000 pa increase to the current financial year.

However, $300,000 pa must be matched dollar for dollar by Local Government and $93,000 pa minimum must be matched by the tourism industry, with Capricorn Enterprise demonstrating in an annual activity plan, a $786,000 pa spend on providing specific tourism destination and marketing services to the region, which stretches from the Central Highlands in the west to the Keppel Islands in the east.

The Capricorn regional tourism administrative boundary covers the three Local government areas of Livingstone Shire Council, Rockhampton Regional Council and Central Highlands Regional Council, with the current financial year contributions being $150,000 pa, $100,000 pa and $50,000 pa respectively.

Our current tourism activity plan includes the management by Capricorn Enterprise of the Accredited Visitor Information Centres in Rockhampton and Yeppoon, open 363 days a year, a service the Organisation provides for the broader community on behalf of local government and businesses, and thanks to a team of dedicated volunteers who work with our two Visitor Information Centre Supervisors.

Last weekend in Rockhampton, Capricorn Enterprise Chairman Graham Scott and myself met with Tourism and Education Minister the Hon. Kate Jones and Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga.

As Chair of Queensland’s Regional Tourism Network, I  am impressed by Minister Jones’ clear understanding of the need for long term planning and collaboration for destination marketing which also provides business confidence in Queensland’s great regions, the back-bone to our state and national economy.

Since the formation of Capricorn Enterprise in 2010, we have seen a 9% growth in visitation and 29% growth in overnight visitor expenditure to CQ in 5 years to 2015, which has been achieved by hard work and great partnerships with state and local government, local businesses, event organisers and community groups, and our neighbouring regional tourism organisations.

The Southern Great Barrier Reef (largely CQ) destination also attained fifth (5) highest ranking in Queensland and fourteenth (14th) highest ranking in Australia for visitor nights in 2015 (source: National Visitor Survey), after Tropical North Queensland, Gold Coast, Brisbane and Sunshine Coast.


Minister for Tourism the Hon. Kate Jones MP announced four (4) year funding of $100 Million per annum for Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ) at the beginning of their current term of state government.

Twenty-one ($21 Million) pa of that is distributed to the official thirteen (13) Regional Tourism Organisations (RTO’s) by TEQ for destination marketing and on-the-ground tourism support.

As Chair of the Queensland Regional Tourism Network, I sought similar long term funding and in November 2015, Minister Jones announced that the 13 RTO’s would receive a confirmed three (3) year funding.

The Board of Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ) only recently ratified the specific amounts to be distributed to the state’s thirteen (13) RTO’s.

Along with Capricorn Enterprise’s annual $393,000, a further $393,000 pa has been committed to Gladstone Area Promotion and Develpment Ltd (GAPDL) and $393,000 pa to Bundaberg North Burnett Tourism (BNBT) in recongnitiion that the three RTO’s work closely together under the Southern Great Barrier Reef Destination brand which has seen incredible results over the past five years.

Until next time
Mary Carroll
CEO, Capricorn Enterprise

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