Hopes of tourism ‘lambslide’

COAST residents and tourists will be encouraged to show their support for Queensland tourism by celebrating "Australia Day II" on February 23.

Minister for Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games, Jann Stuckey, said an advertising campaign would be launched this weekend to celebrate the Queensland spirit and urge people to show their support and holiday in the state.

"Many Queenslanders didn't have the opportunity to celebrate Australia Day in true Aussie style over the January 26 long weekend," Ms Stuckey said.

"The bulk of Queensland tourism destinations are now open for business and ready to welcome visitors following the recent wet weather incidents.

"Many holiday destinations were untouched and while others are on the road to recovery, this campaign reinforces that the best way you can support the industry is by taking a holiday in Queensland."

The face of the Australia Day II campaign will be former AFL player Sam Kekovich, who has become well known in recent years for advertisements promoting the lamb industry and what Ms Stuckey described as "his animated promotion of our national day".

The initiative would be the first step of the government's tourism recovery strategy for flood-affected areas.

"We want to ensure the green shoots of growth we are seeing throughout the tourism industry continue," she said.

"It is about calling on Australians to make plans to visit as soon as they can, and will also be an opportunity to acknowledge the efforts of all emergency services and other volunteers at a time when it was most needed."

The Australia Day II message will roll out in print, online, TV and radio across the country in coming weeks.

"As the weather eases and the clean-up gets under way Australians can assist by converging on Queensland when it's back to its best," she said.

"Tourism is one of the four pillars of the Queensland economy and the government is committed to doing all it can to support the industry."

For more information or a Queensland holiday deal visit www.queensland.com.