Tourism heavy weights are throwing everything they can at getting the message across that Queensland is open for business.

Australian Hostel manager’s were in Brisbane today getting a first-hand look at what the State capital has to offer in the aftermath of the January floods.

Elly Bradfield reports.


The tourism industry in Brisbane is feeling the pinch and experts say it’s due to the pictures and media coverage of January’s floods.

They also say the high Australian dollar may be adding to the pain.

Julian Ledger, YHA CEO: “It is expensive for people to come here in a way that we haven’t seen in the past.”

Julian Ledger believes the best way to spread the message that Queensland is still a top tourist destination is to work with the backpackers themselves.

Julian Ledger, YHA CEO: “We’ve just got to get the word out and I think backpackers are going to be part of getting the word out.”

It’s hoped the demand for workers – because of a current skills shortage – could entice backpackers to Brisbane.

Anythony Hayes, Tourism Queensland CEO: “Part of the job for us over the next 12 months is to get the message out there that there are a lot of jobs available for travellers.”

Anthony Hayes, Tourism Queensland CEO: “Ultimately the skills shortage is an advantage for us. The backpackers youth market have always played a very important roll not only in the tourism market but in the broader economy of the State.”

Youth Hostels Australia is the largest backpacker network in the world and with the global financial crisis still being felt backpacker numbers are increasing.

As a part of the conference hostel managers will get to experience a number of city attractions, including the iconic XXX brewery.

Today’s focus though was to find a way the tourism and hostel industries could work together.

Elly Bradfield, QUT News.