Qld govt dives into domestic tourism push

The Queensland government is spruiking holidays to the Whitsundays for locals amid the coronavirus.
The Queensland government is spruiking holidays to the Whitsundays for locals amid the coronavirus.

Queenslanders can forget sunning themselves in Bali, Thailand or the Greek Islands.

The premier is instead urging Brisbane travellers to take time out in the Whitsundays after unlocking COVID-19 restrictions on how far people can venture from their homes.

"It's really important that we continue to support our industries across Queensland," Annastacia Palaszczuk said.

"If you want to see natural beauty, if you want to see paradise, come to the Whitsundays."

She said the government was in talks with airlines to bring on more flights and cut the price of tickets, with tourism businesses in the region seeing up to a 400 per cent spike in bookings in the past week.

From June 22, Alliance Airlines will make four flights a week from Brisbane to the Whitsundays for $99 under a deal with the state government.

"We're encouraging everyone from the southeast corner to come up and support the Whitsundays during a tough time," Tourism Minister Kate Jones said on Wednesday.

"One in three people in this region work in the tourism industry; it is worth almost a billion dollars to this region annually, and they have suffered significant blows with COVID-19."

Government officials have been promoting instrastate tourism for days, after months of economic hardship for the industry amid the coronavirus pandemic.

But the state's borders will remain shut.

There were no new cases of coronavirus recorded overnight, with just a handful of people yet to recover from the illness.

Australian Associated Press