The plan’s big ticket item is a ‘2 for 1’ deal on Queensland Rail fares servicing long-distance routes on the state’s western lines.
These include passenger services on the Inlander, Westlander and Spirit of the Outback, connecting Brisbane to Charleville, Longreach and Mount Isa, as well as many other stops along the way.
The discount fares were launched by Transport Minister Mark Bailey today. Passengers must travel before March 31 next year to take advantage of the offer.
Bailey said the sale came at the perfect time, with borders set to open in the coming months.
“Regional Queensland has done it tough throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, so I encourage travellers to head west and show our regions some much-needed support,” he said.
The discount window also coincides with the region’s off-peak season, when summer temperatures in the western interior can frequently soar above 40 degrees.
Longreach mayor Tony Rayner and Murweh Shire mayor Shaun ‘Zoro’ Radnedge, whose jurisdiction takes in Charleville, said the hot weather should be no deterrent.
“The trains are air-conditioned and so are the motels and hotels and the tourist attractions and not every day is unbearably hot,” Rayner said.
‘”And when you’re travelling you just adapt to the climate around you and that’s all part of the experience. We love it out here and I suspect when visitors come they’ll love it too. There’s plenty to see and do.”
With the region’s peak season running from April to October, Radnedge said he appreciated any initiative that would boost numbers in the quieter months of the year.
“Tourism works really well in the west for six months, but it’s the other six months of the year that we need this kind of support,” he said.
“It’s a great time to come to Western Queensland, as it’s a little bit quieter and accommodation shouldn’t be hard to find. We’ll take good care of our visitors.”
Bailey said the latest offer complemented the recent Great Queensland Getaway campaign, an $8 million investment the government plunged into incentives on Queensland tourism experiences, including flights, accommodation and attractions.
“Thanks to our strong response to COVID-19, we have the freedom to get out and experience everything Queensland has to offer – now there’s no better time to do so,” he said.
“Offers from hundreds of businesses were available and the promotion generated more than 43,000 bookings.
“It was clearly a hit with Queenslanders, with some offers even sold out days early.
“It’s great to see so many people getting out and supporting local tourism operators across the state as we bounce back from COVID-19.”
*Bookings can be made by calling 1800 TRAINS (1800 872 467) or visiting queenslandrailtravel.com.au.
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