Tourism leaders “shocked, shattered” by border announcement

The Gold Coast’s struggling tourism industry has been dealt another major blow today, with confirmation Queensland’s border will remain shut to Greater Sydney.

While the sunshine state will reopen to regional NSW from November 3, millions of people from both Victoria and 32 local government areas in Sydney will remain banned from entering the state.

Speaking to myGC following the shock announcement, Destination Gold Coast Chairman Paul Donovan said he has been left “shocked and shattered” by the decision.


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“Its a terrible blow to get that news… We were hoping that Sydney would open up, we need Sydney to open up,” Mr Donovan said.

“From tourism’s point of view, it’s a real blow and hopefully there will be a plan come out soon to show a pathway to getting Sydney open… I’m just so frustrated by the whole thing.”

Mr Donovan said the decision to allow the rest of NSW into Queensland but ban people from Sydney “doesn’t make any sense”.

“I think the decision hasn’t been thought through properly… Because you can actually drive from Newcastle or Wollongong to Sydney Airport and mix with people there that will have to go into quarantine when they get here, but then they won’t and its like what’s this about?

“What about mixing with people that work at the airport who live in the Greater Sydney area? What about people that will fly into the airport that have to be quarantined?

“So you’re going to have people from those areas that don’t have to quarantine, mixing with people that do have to quarantine?”

Mr Donovan said he “doesn’t know who’s been preparing the plans but maybe they should revisit them”.

The decision to remain closed to Sydney comes in the lead up to the normally busy Christmas period, but tourism leaders said the impact on the local economy will be felt  “well beyond that”.

“Everyone was really hoping it would open up… The impact on the Gold Coast economy is going to be huge,” Mr Donovan said.

“Gold Coast business owners are going to be shocked and saddened, and that’s all you can really say.”

Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate had similar thoughts on the decision and urged the State Government to consider opening up the border to all of NSW before the summer holidays.

“While I’m pleased that things continue to open up I know how important the Sydney market is to our tourism industry and this is another blow to them,” the Mayor said in a statement.

“We need to be guided by the medical advice but I believe our borders need to open to Sydney for the summer holidays.”

Despite the blow, Destination Gold Coast said the focus will now shift to targeting other markets who are allowed into the state.

“We now need to regroup… We’ve just put a lot of money towards advertising in Sydney to attract people there with a view that it would open up, I’m just bewildered” Mr Donovan said.

“We’ve been doing okay, the flights from Canberra are good, the flights that are coming from South Australia are okay, but Sydney was the area we needed desperately.

“I’m not heartbroken, but I’m shattered because we were all really hoping”.

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Mr Donovan appears to have put all his eggs in one basket, which anyone could have told him was a foolish. Anyone with a brain knew Sydney would still be restricted as they have new case on a regular basis. Until people stop being selfish & obey the guideline, restrictions will stay in place. If the GP of Sydney & Melbourne had have done the right thing in the first place, the borders would have been open for months already.
Mr Donovan people lives are worth more than a few dollars.

The Central Coast NSW has been classed as Greater Sydney in the postcodes and banned from entering Queensland… Here on the Central Coast…an Area of its own.. has NOT I repeat NOT had a single case… so GO FIGURE !!!!!!

That’s not true. I looked up Terrigal for example, not included. I don’t even see Gosford on the list. It’s easy to verify online, search: postcodes banned from qld

The 3 November list will be there.

Can’t be a very good businessman if he thought there was any chance that the border would open to greater Sydney area.

Mr Donovan is an idiot. You don’t dump money on a decision that hasn’t been decided. Your loss mate, learn from your mistake next time.

Honestly, the last thing we need is a wide-scale border re-opening during a holiday season and risking an outbreak.

Sensible, calculated, and gradual transition to a fully open border is the best decision. People seem to keep forgetting that we are in the midst of an pandemic with a virus that has not got a vaccine yet.

As much as it inconveniences us, we have to accept that life will not be the same for quite some time. Complaining won’t change anything because this virus does not care who you are or where you are from so we need to take every precaution possible.

Totally agree with everything you said, Leigh. In fact, I think most sane people not swayed by disgruntled crazies on Sky News agree with you.

I also think someone used a certain changing IP tool (not giving hints to anyone else!) to dislike your comment – articles here don’t have that much interaction, it’s just silly and obvious.