Queensland will move the cancelled Ekka Show public holiday to October 29 as the government hopes the new long weekend will boost its struggling tourism industry.
The "people's day" public holiday will apply in Brisbane, Moreton Bay and Scenic Rim after the Ekka was cancelled because of COVID-19 outbreaks for the second year running.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said tourism spots across Queensland were "doing it tough" with interstate lockdowns restricting the number of travellers that could enter.
"If you're at home and you're thinking about taking the family away, holiday locally," Ms Palaszczuk said speaking from the Gold Coast on Tuesday.
The October holiday will apply to about 1.8 million people in Brisbane and the surrounding areas, industrial relations minister Grace Grace said.
"They may have missed out on their sample bag, but we're urging them to pack their travel bag," she said.
"It was very successful last year and we're hoping for a repeat of that success."
The decision has been welcomed on the Gold Coast as it manages a hard border closure on its doorstep with NSW.
"It's sad to see the Ekka Show cancelled in 2021 but it's fantastic that Brisbane's 1.2 million residents can now plan a long, long weekend here in our city," Mayor Tom Tate said.
Creating the weekend outside of the September school holidays would give businesses another opportunity to court potential customers, Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said.
"Having it on a Friday was a really good suggestion based on the experience of that relocation of the people's day last year, sadly when the exhibition didn't go ahead," he said.
On that occasion Mr Hinchliffe said the economy saw a boost of $112 million, which he predicted to be greater this time around with extra notice given.
"Don't plan to spend the weekend bingeing on Netflix, get out and enjoy Queensland," he said.
Australian Associated Press
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