Royal visit to put Brisbane back on the map for foreign tourists

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Queensland’s tourism industry says Queen Elizabeth’s visit next month will help put Brisbane back on the map for international tourists.

The Queen has added day trips to Brisbane and Melbourne to her 10-day Australian itinerary that coincides with her appearance at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Perth from October 28 to 30.

She will visit Brisbane with the Duke of Edinburgh on October 24 and is expected to make a public appearance, although her itinerary is not yet finalised.

Queensland Tourism Industry Council chief executive Daniel Gschwind said the visit would put the spotlight on Queensland.

“There will be a lot of people watching, there will be a lot of people hearing about it, and for many people around the world, it still puts Brisbane on the map,” he said.

“Not everybody knows enough about Brisbane internationally and I think that will certainly help to put the focus on our city.”

Mr Gschwind said many operators were still struggling after this year’s disastrous floods and cyclone, plus other factors like the high Australian dollar and global economic uncertainty.

He said the southeast corner was doing better than northern operators in Cairns and the Whitsundays.

But he said the message was getting across that Queensland was again open for business.

Premier Anna Bligh said the trip would be a “a shot in the arm” for those who had suffered so terribly in the state’s natural disasters.

“It puts us back on the international stage, gives us some international spotlight,” she said yesterday.

It will be royal couple’s first visit to the state since CHOGM 2002 at Coolum.