39,000 vouchers binned as Holiday Dollars fails to fire
Just 12,000 of 51,000 holiday vouchers issued to tempt holidaymakers to Queensland's hard-hit tourist destinations have been used.
The Courier-Mail understands the strict terms and conditions around the use of the $200 and $100 'Holiday Dollars' vouchers have meant scores have been binned rather than booked.
The travel vouchers were released with much fanfare for use in Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef, Brisbane and the Whitsundays, and a further round was released for the Gold Coast just last week.
With two weeks left to use the Cairns and Great Barrier Reef vouchers released in March, just 3,400 of 15,000 have actually been used to make a booking.
Of the 30,000 $100 Brisbane vouchers that need be used by July 13, only 6,330 have been used.
And 2,610 of the 6,000 $200 Whitsunday vouchers that have been offered to tourists already on holiday have resulted in bookings.
Opposition Leader David Crisafulli said the program had not been implemented well.
"Sadly what's transpired is an all too familiar tale where this State Government focuses on announcements but lacks the discipline to follow through and deliver them," he said.
"We're now redoubling our calls to unleash opportunities in areas like eco-tourism to ensure a fresh offering which focuses on our clean and green image in the post-Covid era."
A spokesman for Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said local tourism operators had been "overwhelmingly positive" about the Holiday Dollars initiative.
For every $1 invested by the Palaszczuk Government, bookings made with Holiday Dollars have delivered a return of $2.70 to tourism operators, he said.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said in March the promotion would be extended if it "proves a success".
But despite soft numbers, a further 30,000 Gold Coast vouchers worth $100 each have begun being distributed this week after a 72-hour application window last week.
"Campaigns like this are an important part of our economic recovery plan - supporting local jobs and injecting funds back into Gold Coast businesses," Ms Palaszczuk said on announcing the further rollout.
Originally published as 39,000 vouchers binned as Holiday Dollars fails to fire