What is the Attracting Tourism Fund?
The Attracting Tourism Fund (ATF) is a key initiative under the Queensland Government’s Growing Tourism, Growing Tourism Jobs policy and a total $48.6 million has been allocated to the fund.
ATF aims to increase economic contribution, jobs and international overnight visitor expenditure to the state by generating new tourism investment. This includes investment in landmark new tourism products, experiences or infrastructure projects, to position Queensland as the leading tourism destination in Australia.
Airline route development is a key focus of the ATF program and this will be delivered through an allocation of $10 million to the Attracting Aviation Investment Fund (AAIF).
The remaining $38.6 million is allocated to the ATF. ATF is about expanding direct access opportunities to grow markets and investing in game changing infrastructure projects and attractions.
The objectives of the ATF are to:
- grow aviation access from international priority source markets that offer long-term potential for Queensland through establishing new or expanding existing aviation services
- facilitate the development of infrastructure and experiences that will attract, grow and sustain visitation from international priority source markets with flow-on economic benefits to Queensland’s visitor economy
- facilitate planning improvement opportunities to enable tourism growth.
Which regions of Queensland are in scope?
The ATF is a targeted funding program that has a focus on Queensland’s international gateways of Cairns, Brisbane and the Gold Coast, while encouraging projects that provide an opportunity for regional dispersal of visitors.
The following regions are in scope for ATF:
- Great Barrier Reef
- Tropical North Queensland
- Southern Great Barrier Reef.
- Southern Queensland
- Gold Coast
- Sunshine Coast
- Fraser Coast Southern Queensland Country.
Are the Outback regions in scope and eligible for funding under the ATF?
Outback regions are not in scope under the ATF program, however the Queensland Government, in recognising the importance to grow tourism across regional Queensland, established the $10 million Outback Tourism Infrastructure (OTI) Fund.
This dedicated program will contribute to realising the government’s vision for Outback Queensland as a tourism destination of choice, and has been designed to complement the ATF and other tourism funding programs available for industry. The OTI Fund is a key element of the Queensland Government’s economic development agenda to build resilient businesses, regions and communities by creating sustainable new jobs and increasing visitor expenditure.
Successful applicants of the OTI Fund will deliver tourism infrastructure projects that create engaging and memorable visitor experiences, which in turn will stimulate economic development and increase overnight visitor numbers and expenditure in Outback Queensland.
Applications have now closed, with funding announcements expected in November 2019.
What are the priority international source markets that the ATF will focus on?
Internationally, Tourism and Events Queensland focuses on growing international visitation and expenditure in Queensland from 13 key international priority source markets.
- Eastern markets
- Hong Kong
- South Korea
- Western markets
- New Zealand
- United Kingdom
- Europe (including Germany, Switzerland, Netherlands, Italy, France and Nordic)
- The Americas (including United States of America and Canada).
Germany, Canada, France, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, India, China, USA and Japan are forecast to deliver above average growth in visitor expenditure for Queensland to 2020. The ATF is therefore focused on growing and accelerating visitation from such international priority source markets.
Applications to the ATF should clearly articulate how the project will grow visitation from priority markets through aviation access or the development of infrastructure and experiences that will attract visitation from these markets.
How is the ATF different from other Government tourism programs?
The ATF is not a traditional government grant program. It is a targeted program that will invest in game-changing, landmark projects to increase international access and international overnight visit expenditure from international priority source markets.
The ATF team will work with destination partners to establish project groups who will identify and scope tourism projects eligible for funding. These targeted project groups may include local governments, tourism operators, regional tourism organisations, airports, ports and other industry experts.
The program has been designed to complement the Queensland Government’s other tourism funding programs, including the Growing Tourism Infrastructure Fund, Outback Infrastructure Fund, and the Great Barrier Reef Rejuvenation Fund, to leverage the entire $180 million tourism package, attract new investment and achieve greater regional dispersal.
How is the ATF different from the Connecting with Asia Fund?
The ATF has a much broader international market focus than the Connecting with Asia program. The ATF program is targeting other priority source markets that include, but not limited to; India, United Kingdom, Europe and North America.
Connecting with Asia is also about driving demand. The ATF is primarily focused on the supply side of tourism development.
How is the ATF different from the Attracting Aviation Investment Fund?
The ATF is about expanding direct access opportunities to grow markets, and investing in game changing infrastructure and attractions. This may include game-changing aviation opportunities for Queensland from international priority source markets.
The Attracting Aviation Investment Fund (AAIF) was initially established in June 2012 to attract new air services and boost the state’s tourism industry by generating increased overnight visitor expenditure and supporting tourism jobs.
$10 million has been allocated from the ATF to continue the broader AAIF program. Under the AAIF, all funding is directed to marketing activity, ensuring that Queensland’s experiences and destinations remain the focus of aviation attraction activity.
To learn more about the AAIF program including eligibility and information required to apply, please refer to the AAIF Fact Sheet (PDF, 3.4MB).
How is the ATF different from the Growing Tourism Infrastructure Fund?
The Growing Tourism Infrastructure (GTI) Fund is focused on supporting major new or significantly enhanced tourism infrastructure projects. Projects must be valued at a minimum total cost of $1 million and be construction-ready.
Successful applicants will need to match, in cash dollar for dollar, the Queensland Government’s minimum contribution of $500,000. In exceptional circumstances, where an applicant may have limited capacity to meet the matched cash requirement, an exemption may be sought.
GTI has now closed with funding decisions being made following a two stage assessment process – an Expression of Interest stage with invited applicants only being progressed through to a Full Business Case stage. Successful applicants will receive up to 50% reimbursement for eligible capital costs only. Costs for capital works incurred prior to approval will not be eligible.
More information on the GTI Fund including the program guidelines is available here.
How is the ATF seeking to deliver benefits for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people?
The Queensland Government is committed to reconciliation between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders and non-Indigenous Queenslanders. Our vision for reconciliation is to foster and maintain respectful, trusting and mutually beneficial relationships based on an understanding and acknowledgment of past hurts that Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islander peoples have endured, and moving forward on a shared journey toward reconciliation where all Queenslanders are equal.
All proposals that progress to the business case stage of the ATF must describe how the project will provide for respectful relationships with, and economic opportunities for, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and also estimate the number of Indigenous jobs to be created by the project and the value of sub-contracts to Indigenous businesses. Where projects are approved for funding, funded organisations will be required to report on Indigenous outcomes as part of the broader project reporting to Government under the conditions of the Financial Agreement.
Who can apply?
The ATF is open to local governments, commercial/private enterprises, regional tourism organisations, local tourism operators, and economic development organisations.
The ATF program will consider applications for funding from the following organisations:
- entities incorporated under the Corporations Act
- associations incorporated under an Australian law
- foreign corporations registered in Australia
- body corporates established for a public purpose by or under an Australian law.
- local government authorities constituted under one of the following:
- Local Government Act 2009 (Qld)
- City of Brisbane Act 2010 (Qld)
- Commonwealth Aluminium Corporation Pty Ltd Agreement Act 1957 (Qld)
- State Government agencies that are partnering with local government and other eligible organisations to deliver an eligible project.
How will consultation be undertaken?
Targeted discussions and stakeholder engagement will take a two-tiered approach:
- initial discussions with the international gateway cities (i.e. Cairns in Great Barrier Reef, and Brisbane and Gold Coast in Southern Queensland)
- follow-on discussions with the wider regional dispersal areas.
Consultation began in August 2018.
What are the proposed dates for making a submission?
Submissions for eligible projects can be made at any time by completing a Request to Proceed (RTP) process.
While there is flexibility for RTP’s to be submitted at any time, the following timeframes are provided as a guide:
- Late 2018/Early 2019 – RTPs submitted to ATF team for consideration and approval
- Mid 2019 – Business cases to be submitted to the ATF team for evaluation by the Assessment Panel
What type of tourism projects will be considered?
To be eligible for funding, projects must meet the objectives of the ATF and fall into one of the following categories:
- catalytic products or experiences or infrastructure projects that are capable of significantly increasing international overnight visitation, expenditure and jobs for Queensland
- new or expanded international access projects which demonstrate long-term benefits to Queensland.
The upgrade or extension of existing infrastructure will only be eligible where a significant increase in tourism benefits to Queensland can be demonstrated.
Examples of projects include new or significantly improved tourism infrastructure, attractions, experiences, aviation and cruise opportunities or other projects that will enhance regional appeal to the targeted international priority source markets.
What are the parameters or criteria for applying for the ATF?
Projects will be assessed against the key criteria outlined in the industry guidelines and evaluated on its:
- value for money
- evidence that international tourism pathways will be created through new or refreshed product, experiences, infrastructure or access opportunities
- evidence of partnership contributions and leveraging of funding
- regional benefits and dispersal of incoming visitors.
For more detailed information on the assessment process and criteria please refer to the ATF Industry Guidelines.
Do I have to provide matched funding?
Project groups are encouraged to identify financial partners and seek co-contributions to help fast-track and deliver projects. However, matched funding is not a mandatory requirement under the ATF program.
Co-contributions from the Australian Government, local governments, regional tourism organisations and industry partners, including international partners, will be highly regarded. Other Queensland Government contributions will also be considered.
Is there a ceiling on what the Government will provide per project?
The total value of ATF is $48.6 million and all approved funding allocations will remain commercial-in-confidence. Each business case will be carefully considered and a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis will be conducted to ensure the State gets the best return on its investment.
How advanced does my project have to be to meet criteria and be considered for funding?
Preferably at the detailed design stage. All preparatory work, such as planning, feasibility studies, conceptual designs, should be completed at the time of submitting a business case. Note that this will be project dependent.
Projects will need to be ready to commence prior to June 2020.
Will the ATF fund the cost of developing business cases for the ATF?
All costs associated with developing and submitting application material for the ATF, at both the RTP and Business Case stages, must be borne by the applicant. Applicants are however able to apply for detailed or final design, planning or engineering stages to support the delivery of the project.
Are hotel and resorts eligible for funding under ATF?
Hotel and resort developments are ineligible under the ATF unless they are attached to or include a new catalytic tourism product, experience or attraction that also meets the ATF eligibility criteria.
Projects must meet the objectives of the ATF program and be capable of significantly increasing international overnight visitation, expenditure and jobs for Queensland, and demonstrate long-term benefits to Queensland.
Will industry be involved in the selection process?
The ATF team will work with destination partners to establish projects groups who will identify and scope tourism projects eligible for funding. These targeted project groups may include local governments, tourism operators, regional tourism organisations, airlines and airports and other industry experts.
Industry will however not be involved in the assessment of projects for funding.
Who will make up the assessment panel?
The assessment panel will comprise of senior government officers from departments relevant to the ATF including Queensland Treasury and the Department of Premier and Cabinet. This panel will be jointly chaired by the Director-General of the Department of Innovation, Tourism Industry Development and the Commonwealth Games and the Chief Executive Officer of Tourism and Events Queensland.
Is this a case of the Government trying to pick winners?
The Queensland Government is committed to working with the tourism industry to identify and deliver projects that will increase access, overnight visitor expenditure and grow tourism jobs.
The ATF is just one of many key initiatives under the Queensland Government’s $180 million Growing Tourism, Growing Tourism Jobs policy. Projects submitted for funding under ATF will go through a robust assessment process, including a detailed economic and commercial evaluation.
Why should more public funding go into these types of projects?
Tourism is vital to Queensland’s economy and the Queensland Government through its $180 million Growing Tourism, Growing Tourism Jobs Policy, is committed to supporting and growing the state’s tourism industry.
Queensland’s tourism industry is worth over $25 billion and supports 217,000 Queenslanders, making it one of the largest economic contributors for the state.
Queensland’s visitor economy is experiencing sustained growth in both domestic and international visitors and expenditure. Generating $57.9 million a day in overnight visitor expenditure, the Queensland Government recognises the economic importance and benefits the tourism sector contributes across the state and it sees the endless opportunities there are for growth in tourism, particularly from surging priority source markets.
Germany, Canada, France, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, India, China, USA and Japan are forecast to deliver above average growth in international visitor expenditure for Queensland to 2020. The ATF is therefore focussed on growing and accelerating visitation from these markets.
Queensland has earned a reputation as a world class location for tourism, with cosmopolitan cities, beautiful beaches, rugged outback locations and friendly country towns. Globally competitive products and services and unique holiday destinations combine to provide strong investment opportunities in the tourism and services sectors.
Queensland is currently Australia’s second largest tourism market after New South Wales, accounting for 24.6% of the national tourism output. The Queensland Government through the ATF will work with industry and invest in new landmark infrastructure and attractions to position Queensland as the leading travel destination in Australia.
When will successful projects be announced?
Successful projects will be announced once the assessment process is complete.
It is anticipated that successful projects will be announced from early/mid 2019.
While there is flexibility for RTP’s and business cases to be submitted at any time, the following timeframes are provided as a guide:
- late 2018/early 2019 – Projects identified and Requests to Proceed received by the ATF team for consideration
- mid 2019 – Business cases to be submitted and assessed by the Assessment Panel.
How long will this program last?
Funding under the ATF program has been allocated through to 2020/2021.