Gold Coast tourism operators are set to join a state wide protest against the Queensland government’s border closures today.
Dozens of businesses are calling for an end date to the closures to be locked in, pushing for the July date first outlined in the state’s ‘roadmap to recovery’.
It comes after both the Premier and the Chief Health Officer signalled that a September reopening date would be much more likely, meaning that the Sunshine State would miss almost the entire winter season of interstate tourists, and potentially billions of dollars.
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Tourism leaders on the Gold Coast say we’re set to lose around $500 million in the extra two months alone, with local businesses now becoming concerned they wont be able to survive that long.
The federal government has also maintained that there’s been no health advice from the federal level that border closures were necessary in the first place, and have also encouraged states to reopen them.
And while other Australian states have border closures in place as well, it’s becoming an increasing concern for Queensland, which is so heavily reliant on tourism for the economy.
The tourism industry alone contributes around $12.8 billion to the state economy, or just under 4 percent of GDP.
9.1% of all people employed in Queensland work within the tourism industry, employing approximately 217,000 Queenslanders.
Three major protests will occur this morning, on the Gold Coast, Cairns and the Sunshine Coast, to urge the Premier to provide clarity and open the borders in July.
It’s called the ‘toot for tourism’ campaign, with operators to stage a car protest (in keeping in line with coronavirus gathering restrictions still in place).
It’s understood the protest will start at the Spit, and travel through Surfers Paradise in a peaceful show of unity.
However, it’s not all bad news for our local tourism industry, with reports that the lifting of state-wide travel has already seen operators inundated with bookings.
It’s hoped that intrastate travel alone will provide a billion dollar monthly boost to the sector around Queensland.