Tourism bosses urge Qld to ‘move on’ on from border closures

Queensland tourism bosses warn the state’s borders must stay open for good if the industry has any hope of surviving.

The Sunshine State began welcoming back visitors from southern hot spot states on Monday after more than 140 days of being shut out.

Since the beginning of the pandemic last March, Queensland’s borders have been shut for more than 430 days.


Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said on Monday she is hopeful border closures are a thing of the past, but wouldn’t guarantee it.

“I don’t think anyone can. We’ve got the plan in place, the national plan that we’ve agreed to and we expect the vaccination rates are going to hold up,” The Premier said.

Queensland Tourism Industry Council CEO Daniel Gschwind is confident we’ve seen the last of closed borders.

“I think we’re in a better spot than we have been in two years there’s no doubt about that. We’ve had so many twists and turns over the last two years, closing and shutting and hot spots and that now I think we can leave behind,” Mr Gschwind told Nine.

“The Queensland government govt to its credit has stuck with the roadmap now and said no we’re done with border closures, well treat each case as it comes.

“There will be cases we’ve been told there will be cases but we have to live with the virus, the government has said so and we believe that’s true. We just need to move on now.”

Timi Caldwell sees her daughter Mikaela Mew, and her grandchildren Stevie, 5, and Chloe, 2, for the first time in 9 months. PHOTO: Supplied

The tourism industry is banking on a quick bounce back now that borders have reopened.

Operators across the Gold Coast report strong bookings for the Christmas-New Year period while Gold Coast Airport is expecting to be back to pre-COVID levels by Friday.

Another 25 flights are scheduled to land at Coolangatta today, rising to more than 60 by the end of the week.

Last week just six flights were arriving on the Gold Coast each day.

“Gold Coast is clearly such a popular destination particularly for Sydney and Melbourne so we can’t wait to have them back on the Coast, coming through the airport, using our facilities but getting out into the theme parks, the beaches and hinterland and really supporting the local economy,” Queensland Airports CEO Chris Mills said.