Grants open to support businesses in 2023 Year of Accessible Tourism

Published Tuesday, 21 March, 2023 at 01:27 PM

Minister for Tourism, Innovation and Sport and Minister Assisting the Premier on Olympics and Paralympics Sport and Engagement
The Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe

Grants open to support businesses in 2023 Year of Accessible Tourism

  • Applications open for $9 million grants to improve accessibility for tourism experiences as part of $12 million Accessible Tourism Queensland Fund.
  • 2023 Year of Accessible Tourism recognises the untapped potential surrounding accessible tourism of $1.8 billion per annum when including the travel party.
  •  Palaszczuk Government announced as major sponsor for Accessible and Inclusive Tourism Conference on the Gold Coast on 28 April.

Applications are now open for $8 million Accessible Tourism Infrastructure grants of between $25,000 to $500,000 to support small to medium sized tourism and events businesses to improve accessibility through infrastructure upgrades, assistive equipment and technology.

Applications are also now open for the new $1 million Accessible Tourism Enablers grants providing between $50,000 to $250,000 to support not-for-profit peak and disability services organisations to make products that make visitor experiences more inclusive.

Minister for Tourism and Sport Stirling Hinchliffe joined Paralympian Rachael Watson AOM at Brisbane’s Riverlife kayaking adventures this morning to open the grants ahead of tomorrow’s Brisbane 2032 Legacy Forum.

The new grants are part of the Palaszczuk Government’s $12 million investment in the 2023 Year of Accessible Tourism, an exciting opportunity to demonstrate Queensland’s commitment to making Brisbane 2032 the world’s most accessible and inclusive sporting event.

The strategy recognises the enormous untapped potential surrounding accessible tourism of $735 million per annum or $1.8 billion per annum when including the travel party.

The Palaszczuk Government has also signed on as a major sponsor for the Accessible and Inclusive Tourism Conference on the Gold Coast on 28 April run by GetAboutAble.

Queensland’s Year of Accessible Tourism kicked-off with the release of a free online accessible tourism toolkit earlier this year developed by Get Skilled Access (GSA) and TravAbility in partnership with the Department of Tourism, Innovation and Sport.

As part of the project, GSA and TravAbility worked with Regional Tourism Organisations in Greater Brisbane, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, Fraser Coast, Townsville, Outback Queensland and Cairns to assess tourist infrastructure accessibility and tourism business capability. 

Throughout this year, six more tourist destinations will be assessed - Bundaberg, Capricorn, Gladstone, Mackay, the Whitsundays, and Southern Queensland.

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Quotes attributable to the Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe:

“These grants will support upgrades of accessible visitor infrastructure and technology that will further enhance Queensland’s reputation as an all-abilities destination of choice.

“More and more people with a disability and their families are looking for travel options that can cater to their needs.

“We want this year to be the transformation that creates an enduring legacy for Queensland as an inclusive, world-class visitor destination.

“Queensland’s great lifestyle and world-class visitor experiences are too good not to be enjoyed by everyone.”

Queensland Tourism Industry Council CEO Brett Fraser:

“Everyone deserves to enjoy a Queensland holiday or experience and ability shouldn’t serve as a barrier to this enjoyment.

“With 1 in 5 Australians identifying as living with a disability or specific accessibility requirements, we’re committed to improving Queensland’s visitor offerings and to making our state a world-leader in accessibility.

“Tourism businesses are often the first port of call when visitors come to stay and play. What better way to build a more welcoming and inclusive Queensland than through our accessible guest experiences. 

“We know that many tourism operators will jump at the chance to improve their visitor offerings through this support package.”

Get Skilled Access Principal Consultant Zack Alcott:

“Queensland’s commitment to accessible tourism is industry leading and will improve the travel experience and opportunities for participation in tourism activities for people with disability.

“To be accessible means providing products and services in a way that ensures people of all abilities can visit and experience your business – whether it is a tourism experience or any other business, and that they feel welcomed as guests with equity and dignity.

“Get Skilled Access is proud to be working with the Queensland Government towards accessible tourism and supporting businesses to better cater to visitors of all abilities.”


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