Previous DestinationQ events

For information and resources from previous DestinationQ Forums and events, click below:

2021 Destination Q Forum

The DestinationQ 2021 Forum was held in Brisbane on Thursday 11 November. The full day forum welcomed more than 890 tourism and event industry leaders from across the state.

The 2021 DestinationQ Forum program (PDF, 553.5KB) featured sessions supporting the conference theme, Looking forward to the Future of Tourism. Watch the recordings of the forum below.

Forum part 1

  1. Introduction – MC, Ms Leonie Mellor
    • Welcome to Country – Mr Ashley Ruska accompanied by Mr Aaron Ruska-Martin playing Didgeridoo Nunukul Yuggera
    • Welcome Address – The Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe, MP
  2. Keynote speaker – Mr Chris Riddell, Futurist
  3. Keynote speaker – Ms Adele Labine-Romain, Deloitte Access Economics
  4. Platinum Partner introduction – Mr Jonathon Betros, IMate and Acknowledgement of Remembrance Day – MC, Ms Leonie Mellor

Forum part 2

  1. Keynote panel – Forward trends in tourism
  2. Panel session – Authentic and transformational experiences video
    • Mr Cameron Costello, QTIC
    • Mr Chris Saines, QAGOMA
    • Ms Suzanne Thompson, Desert Dreaming
    • Mr Chris van Hoof, Eden Health Retreat
  3. Panel session – Our restart: delivering on the promise video
    • Mr Stewart Moore, EarthCheck
    • Ms Jayne Hrdlicka, Virgin Australia
    • Mr John Warn, ACCOR
    • Mr Chris Briggs, SeaLink

Forum part 3

  1. Panel session – The Olympic and Paralympic opportunity video
    • Ms Kerry Petersen, 2032 Taskforce, Department of the Premier and Cabinet
    • Ms Michele Fleming, Populous
    • Mr John O’Neill, Komosion
    • Associate Professor Sarah Kelly, University of Queensland
    • Mr Nick Hockley, Cricket Australia
  2. Panel session – Action plan for tourism recovery video
  3. Ministerial panel
    • The Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe, MP – Minister for Tourism, Innovation and Sport and Minister Assisting the Premier on Olympics and Paralympics Sport and Engagement
    • The Honourable Mark Bailey, Minister for Transport and Main Roads
    • The Honourable Di Farmer, Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development

2020 DestinationQ Forum

The DestinationQ 2020 Forum was held virtually on Friday, 4 September 2020. Presented in partnership by the Department of Tourism, Innovation and Sport, the Queensland Tourism Industry Council and Tourism and Events Queensland, the forum focused on supporting the state’s tourism industry to understand and adapt to the continuing impacts of COVID-19.

Guest presenters and panellists offered perspectives on the health, social and economic impacts of COVID-19 and provided inspiration for the future of tourism, examining new opportunities and profiling sustainable operating models.

DestinationQ 2020 Forum Program (PDF, 299.7KB)

A recording of the DestinationQ 2020 Forum is available along with the presentations from guest presenters:

2019 DestinationQ Forum

The 2019 DestinationQ Forum was held on 7 and 8 November 2019 at the Novotel Twin Waters Resort, Sunshine Coast alongside the following key tourism events:

The theme for the 2019 DestinationQ Forum was: ‘Tourism beyond 2020: Innovating for the future’. The 2019 forum focused on challenging the sector to expand its horizons. The event included a range of keynote addresses, masterclass sessions and panel discussions.

Delegates heard from Keynote speakers including:

The program also included four Masterclass sessions:

  1. Understanding the USA market
  2. The future of travel distribution
  3. Why quality matters
  4. Risky business -  planning for the unthinkable

The following facilitated sessions allowed delegates to participate in discussions with Queensland industry panellists

  • Emerging Leaders Panel Discussion
  • Q&A Panel Session

International Education Panel Discussion

2019 DestinationQ Events Conference

The DestinationQ Events Conference and associated networking function were held in Cloncurry, Outback Queensland on 5-6 August 2019.

The DestinationQ 2019 Events Conference theme - ‘How our Past Shapes our Future’ – carried the underlying message of resilience and how to bounce back after adversity to grow events to be bigger, better and stronger.

The event featured talks from a range of speakers including former Christchurch Mayor Sir Bob Park, New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival Communications Director Matthew Goldman and Birdsville Big Red Bash founder Greg Donovan.

Presentations spoke on:

  • resilience
  • staging regional events
  • how to deliver and grow an event
  • working with partners to provide packages
  • leveraging sponsorship
  • engaging and inspiring volunteers
  • measuring the economic impact of events and more

2018 DestinationQ Forum

The 2018 DestinationQ Forum was held at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre on 16 November 2018.

The Forum, which was attended by over 670 delegates from across the tourism industry, provided an opportunity to engage with industry leaders and peers and discover new insights and research to help position Queensland tourism for the future.

The Forum included presentations from:

  • Ms Claire Madden, Hello Clarity
  • Mr Dan Tobin and Ms Carolyn Karnovsky, UAP

Two Q&A panel sessions were held during the forum, including discussions and insights from:

Leaders Panel

  • Ms Leanne Coddington, CEO, Tourism and Events Queensland
  • Mr Damien Walker, Director-General, Department of State Development, Tourism and Innovation
  • Mr Daniel Gschwind, CEO, Queensland Tourism Industry Council
  • Cr Belinda Murphy, Mayor, McKinlay Shire Council and Chair, Outback Queensland Tourism Association
  • Mr Cameron Costello, CEO, Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation
  • Ms Wendy Morris, Owner, Reef Society and Chair, Tourism Tropical North Queensland

Top Issues Panel

  • The Honourable Kate Jones MP, Minister for Innovation and Tourism Industry Development
  • The Honourable Leanne Enoch MP, Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reed, Minister for Science, and Minister for the Arts
  • The Honourable Mark Bailey MP, Minister for Transport and Main Roads
  • Mr Brett Godfrey, Chair, Tourism and Events Queensland
  • Mr Shane O’Reilly, Chair, Queensland Tourism Industry Council

2018 QTIC Tourism Indigenous Employment Forum

The 8th Annual QTIC Tourism Indigenous Employment Forum, an initiative of the Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC), was hosted by the QTIC Indigenous Tourism Champions Network and proudly supported by The Star Entertainment Group on 14 November 2018 at the Home Of The Arts (HOTA), Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast.

The forum brought together business leaders, employers, government representatives, tourism organisations, native title holders and community organisations to discuss important issues, opportunities and strategies for supporting Indigenous tourism growth and Indigenous employment across the state.

Dale Stephens, Customer Director Māori Customers at New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and Chairman of New Zealand Māori Tourism was the keynote speaker at the Forum.

More information about The 8th Annual QTIC Tourism Indigenous Employment Forum.

2018 Tourism Masterclasses

The Tourism Masterclasses held on 15 November 2018 on the Gold Coast provided an opportunity to have in-depth discussions and engage with experts from across the tourism industry.

Four Tourism Masterclasses were held on the following topics:

  1. Customer centricity: The importance of delivering exceptional experiences to your visitors
  2. Facilitating payments from Chinese visitors
  3. Attracting investment to your region
    • Siobhan Ahearn, Director, Tourism Investment Attraction Unit, Tourism, DSDTI
    • Ms Melanie Anderson, General Manager, Industry Development, Tourism, DSDTI
    • Mr Ben Wilson, Partner, M&A Advisory, Deliotte
    • Mr Jim Costello, Director, The Big Pineapple Renewal
  4. Applying augmented reality and virtual reality to planning, marketing and enhancing your tourism experience
  • Mr Gavin Crombie, CEO, Digital Frontier
  • Mr Ryan Yung and Assoc Professor Alexandra Coghlan, Department of Tourism, Sport and Hotel Management, Griffith Business School, Griffith University
  • Mr David Kwong, Principal, Infrastructure Advisory and Mr Michael Gardiner, Global Technical Lead, Aurecon
  • Mr Lex Van Cooten, Managing Director, Immerse Enterprise
  • Mr Geoff Pike, Founder, Equipped to Discover

2018 Local Government Masterclass

The Local Government and Tourism Masterclass held on 15 November 2018, tailored specifically to Mayors, Councillors, council officers and interested local government stakeholders, covered key topics to help councils create the right environment to support tourism in their areas.

Presentations covered government funding opportunities and support available to facilitate tourism industry development as well as tourism policy directions and planning. Case studies were also presented by local governments.

  • Ms Elizabeth Rose, Climate Change and Sustainability, Ernst and Young
  • Dr Natasha Montesalvo, Queensland Tourism Industry Council and Dr Robert Hales, Director, Griffith Centre for Sustainable Enterprise, Griffith Business School, Griffith University
  • Ms Laureth Rumble, Pumpkin Island
  • Mr Greg Bruce, Planning, Environment and Culture, Townsville City Council
  • Mr Russell Lowry, Economic Development and Tourism Manager, Longreach Regional Council
  • Ms Debra Howe, Director, Strategic Growth and Development, Livingstone Regional Council
  • Mr Craig Rutledge, Regional Executive Director – South, Regional Economic Development, Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning

2018 Queensland Tourism Awards and Gala Ceremony

The 2018 Queensland Tourism Awards were held at The Star Gold Coast on Friday 16 November 2018. Hosted by the Queensland Tourism Industry Council, the awards celebrated the outstanding achievements of the state’s tourism industry, including individuals, businesses and events.

The Queensland Tourism Awards were presented by Queensland Airports Limited in partnership with Tourism and Events Queensland, The Star Entertainment Group and supporting partner Tourism Australia.

For further information visit

2018 World Tourism Day and QTIC Prize for Innovation

The 2018 QTIC World Tourism Day Networking Event was held at the Emporium Hotel in South Bank, Brisbane on Thursday 27 September 2018.

Attendees had the opportunity to hear from inspiring innovators and enjoy spectacular views of the Brisbane city skyline.  During the night, the winners of the 2018 QTIC Prize for Innovation in Tourism were announced along with a presentation to the participants from QTIC’s Young Professionals Mentoring Program.

Read more about the QTIC Prize for Innovation and World Tourism Day.

2018 DestinationQ Events Conference

The future direction of Queensland’s event industry was the focus of DestinationQ Events Conference which was held in Gladstone on the 8th August 2018.

The conference provided attendees a chance to network, enhance their professional development and build their capacity to deliver exceptional events. This year’s conference centered around the theme of remaining relevant in the ever-changing event landscape.

It was a unique opportunity for the tourism and events industries to discuss and share their insights about delivering successful and sustainable events. The day included Q&A sessions, panel discussions and networking breaks, allowing guests to engage with speakers.

The updated Queensland Events Guide was also announced during the conference, with a new chapter on Sustainability, which can be found on the Tourism and Events Queensland website.

Forum Presentations

Second Annual QTIC NAIDOC Corporate Breakfast

The Queensland Tourism Industry Council in partnership with The Star Entertainment Group held the 2nd Annual QTIC NAIDOC Corporate Breakfast on 11 July 2018. The breakfast provided an opportunity for the Queensland tourism industry to acknowledge and celebrate the important role tourism plays in connecting visitors to Australian culture and history and how tourism can empower Indigenous Australians through employment and community support.

The 2018 QTIC NAIDOC Corporate Breakfast celebrated the invaluable contributions that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women have made – and continue to make – to the tourism industry and ultimately the positive impact Aboriginal women have on community, local, state and national levels. For more information, please visit the QTIC or NAIDOC websites.

2017 DestinationQ Forum

collage of forum highlights

The 2017 DestinationQ Forum was held in Brisbane on 9 November 2017 and attracted over 400 registrations. The theme of the 2017 forum was competitiveness from collaboration in the tourism sector and delegates heard from international and local speakers, and participated in in a collaborative session on optimising Queensland’s competitiveness and connecting with Queensland’s story.

On 10 November 2017 delegates had the option to participate in site visits to either the Gold Coast or the Brisbane Airport, or attend a virtual reality information session.

Delegates heard from international speakers including:

The program also featured industry presentations from:

The second half of the day included a facilitated collaborative session to assist participants understand how they can collaborate to optimise Queensland’s competitiveness and connect with Queensland’s story.

Forum Presentations

2017 QTIC Tourism Indigenous Employment Forum

On Wednesday 8 November, business leaders, employers, government representatives, tourism organisations, native title holders and community organisations gathered in Brisbane to discuss issues, opportunities and strategies for supporting Indigenous tourism growth and Indigenous employment across the state at the 7th QTIC Tourism Indigenous Employment Forum.

As part of the Forum, the QTIC Indigenous Champions Network, supported by The Star Entertainment Group, invited delegates to endorse the Larrakia Declaration (PDF, 1.2MB) from the United Nations World Tourism Organisation.

2017 DestinationQ Engaging Local Government in Tourism

Delegates attending the Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) Annual Conference heard insights and best practice on how local governments can support the development of tourism in their region at the DestinationQ session on Monday 16 October 2017 in Gladstone.

Speakers included Mayor Mark Jamieson from Sunshine Coast Council, Professor Sara Dolnicar from UQ Business School, Mr Ben O’Hara, Development Director for Spicers Scenic Rim Trail and Mr Steven Silvester, General Manager, Investment Attraction, Brisbane Marketing.

For more information and proceedings from the LGAQ conference, please visit LGAQ conference.

Workshop presentations

2017 DestinationQ Tourism New Ideas Forum - Bundaberg

Tourism businesses from across the Wide Bay gathered at the Bundaberg Rum Distillery on Tuesday 12 September 2017 to learn, share and network as part of the Queensland Government’s Office of Small Business and DestinationQ Tourism New Ideas Forum.

Delegates heard from industry experts about how to boost confidence and capability for success when building a business from an innovative idea. Speakers included Shane Emms, Zen Beach Retreat, Cameron Johns, Impact Innovation Group, Katherine Reid, Bundaberg North Burnett Tourism and Brad Illich, Newbook.

A suite of online and digital resources was launched and is available to tourism businesses looking to grow their business.

2017 DestinationQ Events Conference

Held on Wednesday 30 August 2017 at the Empire Theatre, Toowoomba, the Events Conference centred around the theme of harnessing the value of events in regional communities and focus on the drivers of value in events - economic, marketing, community and support by advocacy.

The Queensland Events Guide, a comprehensive resource to assist local organisers of events, was released and is available on the Tourism and Events Queensland website.

Forum presentations

2016 DestinationQ Forum

collage of highlights

Held in Mackay on 25 October 2016, the 2016 DestinationQ Forum attracted over 300 representatives from the Queensland tourism industry, and state and local governments to engage in a program of presentations by keynote speakers, panel discussions, workshops, a Ministerial Panel and industry networking reception.

Forum materials

The forum program (PDF, 676.7KB) outlines proceedings for the forum.

As part of the forum, the Advancing Tourism 2016-20 strategy and the Advancing Tourism in North Queensland supplement were launched. Both these documents outline the Queensland Government’s plan to grow tourism and jobs.

2016 State of the Industry report, also released at the forum, outlines the key achievements of the industry over the past year.

2015 DestinationQ Forum


The 2015 DestinationQ Forum was held in Townsville on 8 and 9 October 2015.

Government and industry came together to debate the challenge of converting aspiration to visitation. The forum drew on new consumer insights and experienced speakers to challenge delegates to deliver on our promise to visitors.

Forum materials

The forum communique (PDF, 2.4MB) provides a summary of the discussions and outcomes of the 2015 DestinationQ Forum.

Each of the masterclasses explored the themes of innovation, quality and connectivity relevant to the consumer experience within a specific topic.

2014 DestinationQ Forum

crowd mingling

The 2014 DestinationQ Forum was held on 16-17 September 2014 on the Sunshine Coast.

Forum materials

The forum report (PDF, 7.0MB) details the outcomes and key messages from the two-day event.

The 2014 DestinationQ Forum communique (PDF, 299.3KB) includes the top two industry commitments for each of the three forum themes, as voted by the delegates, as well as the individual commitments made by delegates.

In 2014, the forum program was supplemented with optional master classes which took a deeper look at key issues facing the industry.

2013 DestinationQ Forum


The 2013 DestinationQ Forum was held 27-28 August, 2013 at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre, Broadbeach with 380 delegates.

Forum materials

The 2013 Forum reported on the progress of the 2012 Partnership Agreement and 12 Month Key Action Plan and then focused on the development of a 20 year plan for the tourism industry (PDF, 13.9MB).

2012 DestinationQ Forum

crowd seated

The inaugural DestinationQ forum was held in Cairns at the Pullman Reef Hotel Casino on 25-26 June 2012.

At the forum, 390 attendees participated in a series of workshops on the issues, opportunities and actions needed to develop short, medium and long-term plans to grow Queensland's tourism industry and achieve the 2020 goal of doubling visitor expenditure.

The major outcome of the 2012 forum was a Partnership Agreement and 12 Month Key Action Plan (PDF, 216.3KB) signed by the Queensland Government and the Queensland Tourism Industry Council.