There are renewed calls for the Queensland state government to do more to kick start the tourism market, ahead of a key meeting on the Gold Coast today.
The Premier is expected to meet with tourism leaders and the Mayor on the Gold Coast today, to discuss how the government’s $50 million can be spent to help the tourism industry.
However, the visit comes amidst heavy criticism of the government, claiming it’s not doing enough to get the tourism market kicking again.
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The border closures have quickly become the most contentious issue, with many now calling for them to reopen so that the Sunshine State doesn’t miss out on winter tourists from down south.
But the state government has stood firm on it’s optimistic September reopening date, which could cost us $5 billion according to data from Tourism Research Australia.
Destination Gold Coast has confirmed that the Gold Coast is set to conservatively lose around $500 million of that.
CEO Annaliese Battista told myGC she’s optimistic about today’s meeting, saying it will be good for the Premier to come face to face with the operators.
“The sector should be thankful that the Premier and the Minister for Tourism have made the effort to come today and talk with the tourism sector operators.
“I think it’s very important to hear directly from the operators themselves about how much they’re struggling.
“I certainly hope that that human face of the tourism sector will inspire some easing of restrictions over the next week or so,” Ms Battista said.
Meantime, new data has today revealed that intrastate travel would go a long way to boosting the market while we wait for the border closures to end.
According to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ), Queenslanders holidaying and visiting family and friends within the state is the primary tourism market for regional Queensland, including the Gold Coast.
In December 2019, the percentage of domestic tourists who were Queenslanders travelling in Queensland was at 48.2 percent for the Gold Coast, and 56.4 percent in Brisbane.
CCIQ’s general manager of advocacy and policy Amanda Rohan says intrastate travel needs to be opened up immediately.
“When the Premier announced the Roadmap to Recovery, the line of sight for reopening was based on the information at the time, now cases remain low with some regions recording no new cases, we are ready to get back to business earlier.
“Businesses feel that the Premier has put the plan in the place and is waiting for conditions to be perfect. Yet if the last two months have shown us anything it’s that things are unpredictable and perfect may never come.
“But business can operate in ever-changing conditions, and so should the Government.
“The percentage of intrastate travellers confirm, we can provide a lifeline to our own state. Queenslanders love to travel and visit places within the state, let’s give the economy the chance to start recovering now.
“Bringing forward the ability for Queenslanders to travel around Queensland in a COVID safe way, will give businesses and consumers the ability to start planning and importantly spending across the state.
“If state-based travel is announced now and in time for the school holidays, people can book time off, plan their trip, book their accommodation and be spending in a range of businesses which will be a gigantic boost for our economy.
“There are regions in Queensland which have had no new COVID-19 cases for weeks, some have never had any cases at all for that matter, they are ready to get back to business.
“For hotels, tourism providers and businesses in regions across the state, it would be a game changer.
“We are not overlooking the fact that there will be social distancing and safety requirements , but businesses have shown they can adapt and put in place measures for everyone’s safety, as restaurants, cafes and beauty salons are doing now.
“The statistics of intrastate travellers confirm, we can support our own state. Queenslanders love to travel and visit places within the state, let’s give the economy the chance to start recovering now,” Ms Rohan said.