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Ready, Set, Go! mobile app helps tourism businesses prepare for the unforeseen
The Ready, Set, Go! mobile app aims to help the tourism industry improve its readiness for unforeseen events.
The powerful digital tool was created by the Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC), EC3 Global and the National Centre for Studies in Travel and Tourism through funding from the Commonwealth Government's Department of Industry under its Small Business Advisory Services program Queensland Natural Disaster Assistance round.
The free mobile app will be available for download from next Tuesday (26th November 2013).
Welcoming the new app, John Sharpe, owner of Brisbane-based adventure tourism operator Riverlife, highlighted how it would assist Queensland tourism businesses prepare for disasters or weather crises, similar to the 2011 floods which devastated his business.
Sharpe said the Ready, Set, Go! mobile app will be an invaluable tool for tourism businesses looking for an easy and effective way to get prepared for severe weather events and help them manage their business in times of crisis.
Sharpe explained "I understand only too well how hard it is being a small business owner and thinking that you're prepared for the worst case scenario.
"The 2011 floods caused $100,000 worth of damage to Riverlife and we were forced to shut down temporarily, which resulted in a significant loss of revenue and staff wages. We thought we were covered by our business interruption policy but our insurance company didn't pay us anything.
"It's easy to be a little complacent and think Oh, it won't happen to us, we'll be right'. The best way for other tourism operators to avoid finding themselves in such a devastating situation is to be prepared and have a plan ready to know what steps to take towards management and recovery."
QTIC Chief Executive Daniel Gschwind said Queensland's tourism industry has certainly had its fair share of disaster and weather challenges in recent years.
Gschwind stated "tourism operators know only too well that floods, bushfires and cyclones are part and parcel of doing business in Queensland, yet too many are putting themselves at risk of closure due to inadequate preparation for natural disasters and severe weather events.
"In 2010-11, flooding and Cyclone Yasi were estimated to have caused a loss of around $400 million to tourism exports. Then on top of that we saw the devastation of flooding earlier this year on the Australia Day long weekend.
"As we approach another summer of unpredictable weather, the best way for any business to cope in an emergency situation is to have a plan before a crisis strikes.
"The Ready, Set, Go! app transforms a person's smartphone into a disaster management headquarters. Essentially, it's like having a digital business continuity plan which holds all the essential information to get a business up and running again after an incident or crisis."
Gschwind said research has shown 80% of businesses without a continuity plan don't survive two years after a major crisis (Source: APEC, 2008), adding "we also know that for every dollar invested in disaster mitigation, three dollars is saved in recovery costs.
"This is a crucially important factor for tourism businesses, just like Riverlife, when considering how severely they would be impacted in the short and long term if they went through a major crisis."
A series of workshops for tourism operators to learn how to use the APP, deal with a crisis and plan for getting back to business will be held across Queensland in the coming weeks.
Dates and locations are:
26th November - Brisbane, 2pm - 3pm
2nd December - Sunshine Coast, 3pm - 4pm
3rd December - Cairns, 3pm - 4pm
4th December - Port Douglas, 12pm - 1pm
10th December - Fraser Coast, 2pm - 3pm
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