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Tourism Industry Reference Panel

A unique opportunity to set out the next steps and create a considered, collaborative future for Queensland’s former $25.5 billion tourism industry.

The success of Queensland’s visitor economy plays a key role in the State’s overall economic outlook, and the livelihoods of more than 234,000 Queenslanders who are employed in the tourism industry. The global tourism industry is currently facing unprecedented challenges and uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Given the significance of tourism in Queensland, a Tourism Industry Reference Panel has been established.

The panel of three experienced industry experts will review Queensland’s visitor economy, identify opportunities to accelerate the tourism industry’s recovery, and  seek feedback from industry to help shape long-term success in the sector.

The panel will explore a range of issues, including:

  • changes in consumer demand and emerging market opportunities
  • Queensland’s brand positioning against competitor destinations, as both a State and destination specific brands
  • enablers of tourism growth, including skills, infrastructure and technology
  • re-building airline capacity into Queensland as well as other transport options
  • opportunities for new products and experiences, including shovel ready projects capable of spurring investment, rejuvenation and visitation
  • opportunities for events to drive visitation, including to regional areas and during off-peak periods
  • opportunities for Queensland to increase its share of international education.

View the panel's Terms of Reference (PDF, 196.2KB)

Submissions will be invited from across the industry to shape the plan, with several public discussion papers to be issued from April 2021. A series of roundtable events will provide further opportunity for the panel to seek industry input with a final Action Plan due in early 2022. More information on consultation will be available in the coming weeks.

By seeking new opportunities and looking further into the future, the Action Plan for Tourism Recovery will help restore and rebuild our tourism economy, and shape our next phase of Queensland’s economic response.


Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Queensland welcomed more than 28.6 million visitors spending $25.5 billion in 2019.

Almost 234,000 Queenslanders worked and depended on Queensland’s tourism industry for their livelihood – representing one in every 11 Queensland jobs.

In life before COVID, 3 in 10 visitors were international students, whose family and friends also visited Queensland.

Taskforce members

Ms Liz Savage, Chair

Liz Savage has extensive experience in the travel, tourism and hospitality sectors, with expertise in strategy, marketing and digital commerce. Ms Savage has held senior leadership roles in high growth, disruptive consumer businesses in the UK, Europe and Australia, including as Business Development Director of easyJet and Chief Commercial Officer of Virgin Australia.

Ms Savage is now a full time company director, her portfolio includes Auckland International Airport, Intrepid Travel Group and People Infrastructure. Previous Board roles include at Mantra Group, Swissport ANZ, Brisbane Marketing and Triathlon Australia. Ms Savage holds a Bachelor’s degree in Aeronautical Engineering from University of Bristol, a Master’s degree in Air Transport Management from Cranfield University and studied at Harvard Business School.

Mr Brett Godfrey, member

Brett Godfrey has had a 25-year career in the aviation industry, initially holding senior finance positions in small airlines, moving to flag carriers and culminating in conceptualising, establishing and leading, Virgin Australia for its first 10 years in Brisbane.

He was a board director at publicly listed Auckland Airport (9 years) and Westjet Canadian Airlines (13 years). He was Deputy Chair at Tourism Australia, prior to becoming Chair at TEQ in 2017.

Brett is also the Founder and Managing Director of TB2 Capital, which owns and manages a portfolio of tourism assets including Noosa’s Makepeace Island in partnership with Sir Richard Branson, and a portfolio of hotels, lodges, vineyards and historic properties in Tasmania and Victoria. His direct ownership interests include Active Adventures NZ and the Tasmanian Walking Company, which builds and operates its own sensitive environmental lodges offering multi day guided walking journeys to connect them.

Brett’s other interests include being the Chair of the Thunderbird Foundation, a medical research supporting initiative, a board director of Rugby Australia and Chair of the Premiers (TAS) AFL Licence Taskforce.

Mr Andrew McEvoy, Member

Andrew McEvoy has 25 plus years of experience in the tourism, travel, media and events sectors. He is a former managing Director and CEO of Tourism Australia - Australia's peak tourism body. During his tenure, Tourism Australia developed the Tourism 2020 Strategy - aimed at doubling overnight expenditure.

From 2014-17 Mr McEvoy was Managing Director of the Fairfax Life Media and Events business including its profitable lifestyle publishing titles (travel, food, luxury etc) and Australia's largest consumer events company.  Mr McEvoy has chaired and been a Director of listed companies including the Sealink Travel Group (SLK) and Ingenia Communities (INA); was Chairman of AATS (Skybus); Chairman of the Tourism and Transport Forum and is currently Chairman of the Lux Group - operators of the highly successful Luxury Escapes as well as a Director Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia.

He is also currently the Sector Head for Tourism at the world’s largest and most ambitious destination project, NEOM in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.


March 2021

Tourism Industry Reference Panel formed

April 2021

Discussion papers will start to be issued for community consultation.


Planned release for the interim Action Plan for Tourism Recovery.

Early 2022

Planned release of the final plan.

Last updated: 18 Mar 2021