10 Queensland travel deals you can’t pass up
QUEENSLAND is on sale as operators slash prices in a bid to bring back visitors.
Some of the state's most luxurious resorts and memorable experiences are among those offering huge discounts and other special offers to ignite a tourism industry weighed down by fears over the coronavirus and the lingering effects of drought, fire and floods.
The cut-price Queensland specials come as international operators offering discounted travel overseas as holidaymakers become wary of travelling during the coronavirus outbreak.
On exclusive Hayman Island, guests can enjoy a 25 per cent discount on stays, equating to savings of hundreds of dollars, while Orpheus Island is offering free flights for stays of four nights or more.
Flight Centre was yesterday advertising an Orpheus package of five nights for the price of four.
On the Gold Coast, Breakfree Longbeach Surfers Paradise is going even better, with a Flight Centre deal of seven nights for the price of four.
Hamilton Island is also enticing guests with free extra nights, while the award-winning Reef Sleep accommodation on the Great Barrier Reef is offering discounts of $100.
Closer to the southeast, Tangalooma is offering huge room discounts and free ferry transfers.
Sirromet Wines south of Brisbane has slashed almost $250 from the price of a stay and dine package while tour operators in Brisbane and on the Gold Coast are also promoting heavily discounted rates.
Offers of early check-ins, late check-outs and free kids' stays are other lures being used to entice guests.
Rural escapes to the Scenic Rim and Gold Coast hinterland are also being pumped up with lavish hampers, wines and added extras.
Queensland Tourism Minister Kate Jones said there were some great deals to be had as operators looked to entice domestic holidaymakers.
"No matter where you look, we've got a great deal for you," she said.
"From cheap flights, to cheap accommodation, to great food and wine packages - there are some real steals out there at the moment.
"We're working closely with tourism businesses right across the state to make Queensland the most attractive place in Australia to visit.
"While our operators are struggling, they still run some of the best experiences in the world."
She said local tourism operators needed local support to ride out the tough environment.
"It's been a triple-whammy for our operators over the last 18 months," she said.
"The best way for Aussies to support our tourism industry is by visiting the towns hardest hit by the coronavirus, bushfires and floods."
Flight Centre spokesman Haydn Long said deals across the state represented tremendous value.
"The deals we are seeing, both domestically and internationally, at the moment are particularly eye-catching," he said.
"They tend to be available to book for a fairly short period, so the best advice is to get in quickly if you see something that you like.
"As demand starts to rebound and normal travel patterns resume, prices are likely to increase as they won't be sustainable for the long-term at heavily discounted levels."
Queensland operators are increasingly turning to techniques to lure back domestic holidaymakers after the coronavirus-inspired China travel ban which ground our largest international market to a standstill.
Chinese visitors to Queensland numbered almost 500,000 last year and injected $1.5 billon in to the state's economy.
Experts expect the travel ban to slash more than $500 million from that figure this year, forcing operators to scramble in search of markets to make up the deficit.
Domestic holidaymakers are seen as the key, with the Holiday Here campaign targeting Aussies who ordinarily head overseas.
Easter is also expected to generate a $1 billion bonanza for the state's tourism coffers.
But it is an increasingly competitive space.
International airlines are also offering slashed prices on fares around the world as many holidaymakers shy away from air travel in the wake of the spread of the coronavirus.
Industry leaders including state tourism ministers will meet in Canberra tomorrow ahead of the Australian Tourism Awards.
Top 10 travel deals
Hayman Island: 25 per cent off
Orpheus Island: Free flights or 5 nights for price of 4 (Flight Centre)
Hamilton Island: Five nights for the price of four
Cruise Whitsundays: $100 off Reef Sleep or children free on selected tours
Coral Sea Marina Resort: 25 per cent off with stays of three nights or more
Go Ballooning Gold Coast: $250pp (saving of $77) plus free bottle of champagne
Brisbane River City Cruises: 20 per cent off
Sirromet Wines: $642 pamper package for just $399
Tangalooma: Free boat transfers and 40 per cent off standard room
BreakFree Longbeach Surfers Paradise: Seven nights for the price of four