The city’s struggling tourism and hospitality industry has been given another lifeline from both the State and Federal Governments.
A joint $70 million rescue package has today been announced to help support our iconic tourist attractions and hospitality businesses suffering due to ongoing border closures.
Under the package, $30 million will be targeted at supporting Queensland’s iconic tourism attractions, including the city’s theme parks, which are significantly suffering following the loss of interstate and international tourists.
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While $40 million will also be used to provide a second round of grants to small, medium and large tourism and hospitality businesses across the state that received an initial grant from the Tourism and Hospitality Sector Hardship Program.
“It’s great news to support our tourism sector, our iconic tourism attractions, and small, medium and large businesses,” Health Minister Yvette D’Ath told reporters on Saturday.
“We welcome this joint agreement between the commonwealth and state to set aside another $70 million to support businesses in Queensland.”
Tourist attractions will be eligible to receive grants of up to $4 million if they can show they are key drivers of significant interstate and international tourism.
They will also have to prove they have had a 50% reduction in turnover and visitation over the 3 month period from 1 July to 30 September 2021, compared to pre-COVID.
Grants of $15,000, $25,000 and $50,000 will also be available for small, medium and large employing businesses that have experienced a reduction in turnover of at least 70 per cent for at least seven consecutive days between 1 July and 30 September.
Member for McPherson Karen Andrews said the targeted support would go where it was most desperately needed.
“It has been devastating to see our hotels, attractions, restaurants and shops suffer through another school holiday period when they should be overrun with interstate tourists,” she said.
“We know visitors from Sydney, Melbourne and beyond will head straight for the Gold Coast when borders re-open… This targeted support will ensure they’re ready to scale up as we move through the National Plan and visitors return.”
Member for Fadden Stuart Robert also welcomed the funding but said greater certainty surrounding when the border will reopen is still needed.
“This package will help save some of our most iconic attractions from certain ruin, it is welcome support for the many businesses facing difficult days and will save Gold Coast jobs,” Mr Robert said.
“But the Gold Coast needs certainty, we want this to be the last package needed to save the Gold Coast from collapse and with the Queensland Government seemingly ruling out opened borders for Christmas we need to know when vaccinated tourists will be able to safely spend money in our businesses.
“Our city can’t live like this forever we need everyone to stick to the National Plan, agreed to by State and Territory leaders, safely ease restrictions and open the Gold Coast economy for good”.