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Queensland Tourism Icons Program 2020

Queensland’s tourism icons form the backbone of our tourism industry employing thousands of people across the state.

Tourism icons

The $25 million Queensland Tourism Icons Program 2020 is a key element of the Queensland's economic recovery plan to help accelerate the State’s recovery from COVID-19.

Queensland tourism icons are the tourism enterprises and experiences that are considered to be essential as key marketing demand-drivers.

They are well recognised both domestically and internationally, and will support the resilience of the broader industry during the industry’s recovery from COVID-19.

These are the experiences that generate demand, motivate travel decisions, and make Queensland a compelling destination to visit.


The objectives of the program are to:

  • support Queensland’s major tourism operators to survive the COVID-19 pandemic’s impacts on business and jobs
  • support businesses to retain employees and key capability
  • support business operations that result in growth and job creation by leveraging additional investment
  • sustain business operations, especially those that involve major procurement in state and regional supply chains
  • enable tourism icons to preserve their brand and thereby lead market recovery for the wider sector and attract tourists back to Queensland.


The following Queensland tourism operators received funding:

  • Village Roadshow Qld — including MovieWorld, SeaWorld, Wet N Wild and Paradise Country
  • Ardent Leisure Group — Dreamworld
  • Australia Zoo
  • Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Aussie World
  • Sea Life Sunshine Coast
  • Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
  • Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures, Birdworld Kuranda, Kuranda Koala Gardens
  • Quicksilver Cruises
  • Experience Co
  • Skyrail Rainforest Cableway
  • The CaPTA Group.

Funding has also been allocated to outback tourism proponents who will be invited to participate after consultation with regional tourism organisations.


A three stage assessment process was used to determine the major Queensland tourism businesses to receive funding as part of program — with a focus on theme parks and animal attractions.

This included businesses that are the most well-known as being part of ‘brand Queensland’, major tourism demand drivers, large employers, regionally significant and can drive the recovery of the tourism sector after the COVID-19 pandemic passes.

This assessment process identified the 12 major Queensland tourism businesses – as well as iconic outback experiences – who have been invited to apply for support under the program.

The prioritisation of government support was necessary to ensure that Queensland’s tourism industry is in a viable position when domestic and international markets return, and Queensland’s visitor economy recovers.

While all tourism businesses are now facing significant threats to their sustainability, the ability for Queensland’s leading icons to again drive demand in what will be a crowded marketplace is an over-riding consideration for Queensland’s tourism industry to rebuild to previous levels of earnings, and jobs for Queenslanders.

Last updated: 12 Jun 2020