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Gold Coast tourism sees 20% drop in jobs as a result of Coronavirus
Newly released figures from the Tourism and Transport Forum Australia (TTF) show that one in five positions - representing 20,000 direct jobs - have been cut in the Gold Coast tourism industry over the past year.
With fears that a further 4,000 jobs are expected to be lost by December, Destination Gold Coast Chief Executive, Patricia O'Callaghan said the figures were heartbreaking for the industry.
Speaking to the ABC, O'Callaghan advised "with half of Australia's population currently in lockdown, we are expecting another 4,000 jobs to be lost before Christmas, so an industry that's really hanging on by a thread at the moment.”
While the Queensland and Federal Governments announcing a $600 million package for businesses in the state last month, O'Callaghan is calling for further support, commenting “we are staring into an abyss from now until Christmas
"So as this crisis unfolds, further support measures (are needed) such as business hardship grants, wage subsidies, and anything that will help our businesses keep their doors open until the vaccination rollout is complete."
Sarah Gardiner from Griffith Institute for Tourism said the Gold Coast was one of the locations most affected by international closures, stating “a lot of destinations such as the Gold Coast, Cairns in Tropical North Queensland, and Brisbane have been most heavily impacted.”
Explaining that domestic visitor numbers were down 37% and expenditure was down 47%, Gardner noted “it's getting pretty tough now, they've burnt through any cash reserves. Psychologically, it's pretty tough to stay in the game.”
As reported yesterday by Australasian Leisure Management, Dr Jerry Schwartz, who owns Paradise Resort in Surfers Paradise, said any staff who refused to be vaccinated would be given alternative jobs that did not deal with other staff or guests.
Dr Schwartz stated "first of all, I'm a doctor so I wanted to do the right medical issue. Second of all, I'm in the hospitality business and I want it to be safe not only for our staff but also our guests.
"I've communicated very strong letters with my staff coercing them to have vaccines, and now we're at the stage forcing them to have vaccines."
Dr Schwartz said there had been very little pushback, with only 2% of staff opposed to being vaccinated.
Looking beyond lockdowns, O'Callaghan expects visitors to head back to the Gold Coast after borders reopened, going on to say “we're watching what's happening across the world at the moment. We know as soon as restrictions ease, people are getting out and about and travelling.
"From now until that point though, here in Australia, we need to ensure that our industry is supported so we can open with a bang and the Gold Coast will once again be the tourism capital of this country.
"But until then, a helping had to get our industry through is going to be the message."
Image courtesy of Skydive Surfers Paradise.
7th September 2021 - Resort owner Dr Jerry Schwartz mandates hotel staff vaccination
7th September 2021 - Ongoing lockdowns lead to permanent closure of Melbourne Star
6th September 2021 - Leading entertainment promoters launch ‘Vax the Nation’ campaign
2nd September 2021 - Ardent Leisure Chairman says group is well positioned for future growth
1st September 2021 - Ardent Leisure set for seasonal reopening of Gold Coast’s WhiteWater World
26th August 2021 - Paradise Resort Gold Coast secures excellence award
23rd August 2021 - Tropical North Queensland tourism job losses to escalate by Christmas
21st July 2021 - New helicopter tandem skydive experience launches on the Gold Coast
30th April 2021 - Plans move forward for Endless Surf facility on the Gold Coast
12th August 2020 - Destination Gold Coast’s Annaliese Battista announces resignation
1st May 2020 - Destination Gold Coast launches campaign thanking parents
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