The Daily News front page that Tourism Minister Peter Lawlor found objectionable.
The Daily News front page that Tourism Minister Peter Lawlor found objectionable.

Tourism ad critics wrong

TOURISM Minister Peter Lawlor has hit back at criticism over Tourism Queensland’s latest advertisement which said it ignored the bush, as reported in the Daily News on Thursday.

In a statement sent to the Daily News, Mr Lawlor said over the past few months TQ undertook a photo shoot of more than 70 destinations across the State and now has more than 500 new images and 32 hours of new footage.

“Additional photo shoots will be undertaken in coming months, including in the south-east Queensland country region,” Mr Lawlorsaid.

He said anyone who visits would find a new “Find your shine” feature which asks holidaymakers what kind of experiences they were looking for and then recommended what destinations they could have these experiences in.

“Queensland’s regional destinations feature strongly in this; for example, visitors may be directed to the Southern Downs and Granite Belt for a ‘Queensland lifestyle-type experience’, or to the Outback for an ‘adventure’ experience,” he said.

Meanwhile, new localtourism chief Stuart Perry said the new TQ ad had not “snubbed the bush”, saying the 60-second ad featuring sand and surf was “merely the start of the new branding campaign”.

Mr Perry, who is the gen-eral manager of both Southern Downs and Granite Belt Regional Tourism Organisation (RTO) and its counterpart in Toowoomba, said while there was a very strong focus on coastal “hero shots” in the first video, that same 60-second commercial included images of bushwalking, scenic river shots, kayaking, waterfalls and ballooning across a country landscape.

“I would rather take the ‘glass half full approach’ and look at the positives such as the extensive media exposure that has already started to flow out of this campaign, and when you add that to the amazing exposure that Australia is going to get out of the Oprah Winfrey shows, Tourism Queensland is positioning the State to be in the lead with the new brand,” Mr Perry said.

“As the Premier said on Tuesday, ‘Where Australia Shines’ captures the essence of Queensland; a beautiful Australian holiday destination with unforgettable ex- periences and shining Queenslanders, and I know from the comments Ms Bligh made at the launch she was referring as much to areas such as Stanthorpe and Warwick as she was to the coastal attractions.”

Mr Perry encouraged the industry to make sure they were geared up to benefit from the $4.16 million investment in the rollout of the brand in Queensland’s key international markets.

“The best way they can do that is to work alongside us at the RTO and with Tourism Queensland to reap the rewards that the co-operative campaigning will bring,” he said.

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