The Australian Government has announced the 77 recipients of this year’s 2012 T-QUAL Grants – including a number of projects to enhance Chinese visitor experiences.
The T-QUAL Grants is a four-year, $40 million program that aims to stimulate sustainable economic growth in Australia’s tourism sector.
The total value of the projects of the 77 recipients of the 2012 T-QUAL is A$6.68 million.
Australian Minister for Tourism, Martin Ferguson said the T-QUAL Grants program demonstrated the Australian Government’s commitment to improving productivity, quality and capacity within Australia’s $35 billion tourism sector.
“By offering grants of up to $100,000, the Government is stimulating $21.7 million of investment in tourism projects covering a wide range of products and experiences, from expanded and improved accommodation, to online projects, wine tourism initiatives and a number of studies and strategies,” said Mr Ferguson.
He said Australia’s tourism sector was made up of more than 280,000 businesses, 46 percent of which were micro and small, with many based in regional areas.
“These grants are an important way to help destinations attract and retain visitors and support local jobs by ensuring their products and experiences remain fresh and of a high standard,” he said.
Queensland has 15 successful applicants, Victoria 14, New South Wales 13, South Australia and Tasmania 12 each, Western Australia seven and the Northern Territory four.
A total of 350 applications were submitted for assessment in the 2012 round and were assessed by the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism, Tourism Australia and representatives of each state and territory tourism organisation.
Applicants were assessed on the project’s contribution to the goals of the Tourism 2020 strategy, levels of innovation and likely long-term financial viability.
More than 83 percent of grants are located in regional areas and 40 percent possess T-QUAL
*Pictured: Wineries across Australia made up a significant number of 2012 T-QUAL grants – especially those hoping to improve engagement with their Chinese visitors. (Courtesy Tourism Australia)
A number of successful applicants in this year’s round will use the grants to specifically better equip their businesses for the Chinese market.
Among them, is Western Australian Howard Parks Wines, which will use its $100,000 grant to create an international standard wine education facility in Cowaramup, targeting small groups.
The project includes creating a museum cellar ‘Wine Chapel’ experience. The focus will be on the Chinese market and includes an audio-visual presentation in Mandarin.
Wineries across Australia received grants for similar projects, including the Jacob’s Creek Visitor Centre in Rowland Flat, South Australia, which will use part of its $80,000 grant to upgrade signage into Mandarin. As will the Chateau Tanunda Estate Development, also in South Australia, which will use part of its $100,000 grant to develop a new smartphone technology to allow visitors to take self guided heritage tours in English, Chinese and German.
In conjunction with the Intercontinental Hotel Group’s China ready strategy, BG Hotels (HIC) will use its $100,000 T-QUAL grant to develop a new 120-seat alfresco café and bar at the Esplanade Café and Bar in Cairns. The service standards, communications, staff training and product lines will have a heavy Chinese influence to offer the Chinese tourism market a ‘contemporary dining experience with a familiar flavour.’
The Gold Coast City Council has received a $25,000 T-QUAL grant to monitor the travel preferences and behaviour of international students studying in Australia. The project is supported by the Gold Coast Adventure Travel Group, Gold Coast Tourism, Griffith University and The University of Queensland.
Wayoutback Desert Safaris has been granted $100,000 for the refurbishment of three existing campsites at its Yulara and Kings Creek Station campsite in the Northern Territory, into upmarket, permanent camps with facilities to meet the expectations and demands of the Chinese market in particular. ■