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QTIC flags further impact of new South East Queensland lockdown on tourism

QTIC flags further impact of new South East Queensland lockdown on tourism
August 2, 2021

The Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC) has today highlighted the impact that the current three-day lockdown in South East Queensland is having on the state’s tourism industry.

In a communication to stakeholders, QTIC advises “just when we thought the situation could not get more serious than it already was, the lockdown for most of South East Queensland on Saturday has effectively closed down the tourism and hospitality industry in Queensland.

“Regardless of where your business is in Queensland, almost all interstate markets are still shut out and now, with Brisbane in lockdown, even intrastate travel has ground to a near-standstill.

“The industry ended the last financial year severely emaciated financially and with no reserves but with a glimmer of hope and optimism that ‘the worst’ might be behind us. Such expectations have now been comprehensively dashed. With prolonged lockdowns in other states and border closures keeping visitors from our key markets out of Queensland, and the Brisbane lockdown on Saturday, almost every operator in the state is by now facing the most difficult scenario.

“The disturbing evidence emerged in our recent quarterly survey which confirmed a sober outlook event before the latest problems. We thank all of you who took the trouble to respond to the survey, the information is crucial for us to make the case to governments that support is needed.

“QTIC has been making representation to the Queensland Government since the previous lockdown for stimulus funding for the tourism and hospitality industry (and) we formally wrote to the Queensland Treasurer before the lockdown on Friday, conveying our serious concerns that our industry was in the most difficult situation since the very beginning of the crisis.

“For many tourism and hospitality businesses, with all reserves exhausted, emergency cash support is now critical. Costs keep mounting up even for largely ‘hibernated’ businesses. The situation is equally dire for staff who must be supported, not least to keep a skilled workforce in place that can eventually deliver a recovery for the state.

“This is likely to require a substantial investment from state and federal governments but the cost of not supporting our industry would demonstrably be far greater from large scale business failures and job losses. Queensland cannot afford to have its tourism industry decimated, especially not now and not at the start of our decade-long journey towards the Olympics.

“As we have done from the very beginning of the COVID drama, QTIC will make every possible effort to collaborate with both state and federal governments to ensure effective and timely support will be forthcoming. At the very least there are clear signs that the state government will work with the Federal Government to make available some support package that was put in place in NSW recently.”

Image: Warner Bros. Movie World is among the many South East Queensland tourism businesses impacted by the current lockdown.

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