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Townsville hosts international education specialists

Townsville North Queensland will host a group of international education specialists from the United States and New Zealand to showcase the region's edutourism offerings.

Agents from international education wholesaler Holbrook Travel, overseas study agent AUIP and New Zealand’s Edventuretours will visit the region this week to sample programs available to overseas students and meet with education providers.

The group, hosted by Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ), the Townsville North Queensland Edutourism Consortium and Townsville Enterprise Limited (TEL), will be given an experiential tour designed for overseas students.

Minister for Tourism and Major Events Kate Jones said the opportunity to host influential education agents would enable them to attract more students from America and New Zealand to undertake their studies in Queensland.

“Townsville North Queensland has been a leader in edutourism though this partnership with Holbrook Travel, AUIP and Edventuretours opening the door to longer term strategic opportunities in the international education sector,” Minister Jones said.

“What better way to learn about marine science, environmental science, agriculture, ecology and many other subjects through hands on study in a region which has all of these elements including the Great Barrier Reef.

“Holbrook has more than 40 years’ experience in this field and teaming up with a world leader has the potential to bring more international students into Queensland.”

Establishing a partnership with international agents allows Queensland to be strategically promoted in key source markets by implementing education programs with trade and media. 

International education added $1.2 billion to the Queensland economy in the year ending March 2016, increasing by 21 per cent on the previous year. 

Chairman of the Townsville North Queensland Edutourism Consortium Ross McLennan said the opportunity to host leading international edutourism agents was a coup for the region. 

“Edutourism provides Queensland with a fantastic opportunity to showcase our world class destinations through experiential learning,” Mr McLennan said. 

“Townsville North Queensland has the potential to cater for Alumni travel programs, faculty led study abroad programs for Universities, school programs and other special interest groups, all of which contributes to the region’s economy.”

Townsville Enterprise Executive Manager of Tourism and Events Bridget Woods said the opportunity to host international wholesalers had the potential to boost the region’s economy. 

“We are tapping into a growing market where we know there are additional business growth opportunities particularly in the area of highly specialised programs for academic and alumni groups affiliated with the universities.

“The American Universities are so impressed with the educational experiences Townsville North Queensland has to offer, we are now in the process of developing new study abroad programs for the University of Georgia, Texas A&M University and the University of North Carolina, all of which are considered to be significant academic institutions in the USA with large student bases and a strong commitment to study abroad programs,” Ms Woods said.

ENDS