Tourism Recovery Program

Program purpose

The 2019 bushfire season in Queensland was catastrophic. At the height of the season, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) was dealing with more than 90 bushfires at one time.

Southern Queensland Bushfires and the Stradbroke Bushfires both occurred in September, and the Eastern Queensland Bushfires burnt throughout November and December. Additionally, fires in other parts of the state resulted in the merging of the bushfire events into one disaster event - Queensland Bushfires, September - December 2019. After these bushfires, a Community Recovery Package was made available and funded by the Commonwealth and State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements under Category C. The package included the Tourism Recovery Program (the Program).

The purpose of the Tourism Recovery Program is to support the longterm recovery of areas of the state with local economies that rely heavily on tourism (including vulnerable tourism operators) impacted by the Queensland bushfires.

Program status

The Program concluded in June 2022.

Administering agency

The former Department of Innovation and Tourism Industry Development (DITID), now Department of Tourism, Innovation and Sport (DTIS) and the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training (DESBT) led implementation of the Program with administrative support from the Queensland Reconstruction Authority (QRA).

Outcomes achieved:

Overarching program activity

Recovery outcome

Tourism Recovery Marketing Program

Boosting immediate visits to the region through a range of marketing initiatives including a joint (Tourism and Events Queensland, Brisbane marketing campaign and the Visit Sunshine Coast and Southern Queensland Country Tourism) drive.


Wine Tourism Marketing Program

Ensuring long term sustainability of the wine tourism industry through support for wine related tourism businesses such as wineries and cellar doors operating within regions impacted by the Bushfires

Go Local campaign

The Go Local Marketing Campaign aimed to increase revenue and support for the local economy (across Scenic Rim, Southern Downs, Noosa and Sunshine Coast regions), which will enure longterm sustainability of the local community. Key campaign activities included:

  • promoting products and services of local small businesses and to increase the number of tourists shopping locally
  • encouraging locals to Go Local (shop locally) and make a direct investment in the future of their local economy, local jobs and their local communities.


Tourism Recovery grants

Support available through the grants included:

  • effective liaison and management of the recovery and resilience processes for the tourism sector including linking in with state and national programs
  • bushfireaffected tourism businesses received information on how to navigate the government support available to them as well as assistance to apply for grant funding under relevant programs
  • referring tourism representatives experiencing distress associated with the Bushfires and the recovery process to the relevant service providers for assistance.




More information

A copy of the full evaluation report is available on the Australian Institute for Disaster Resilience (AIDR) website.

(QRA Reference CM DOC/22/71008)