Latest News

Back to Latest News back

 

Reopening Queensland tourism operators set to face staff shortages

Reopening Queensland tourism operators set to face staff shortages
September 16, 2021

Queensland’s COVID-hit tourism industry is set to face a new challenge as lockdowns ease - a shortage of workers.

Associate Professor Richard Robinson of the University of Queensland Business School has been investigating the impact of COVID-19 on the state’s tourism workforce and developing a crisis resilience and recovery plan with the support of the Queensland Government.

The UQ Business School researcher conducted 15 consultation workshops with tourism industry operators across five Queensland regions - Southern Queensland, Outback Queensland, Tropical North Queensland, Whitsundays and Gold Coast.

Commenting on what he found, Dr Robinson advised “tourism operators are really struggling to get workers in their regions due to the uncertainty of domestic and international border closures.”

Dr Robinson (pictured below) said Tropical North Queensland operators had suffered the most with a loss of both international tourists and the international labour market, such as working holiday makers and that businesses in marine and Indigenous tourism were most impacted.

He went on to explain “the key concerns that came up in the consultations were mostly around job security, financial hardship, wellbeing and skilled labour shortages.

“We are working on strategies for recovery and resilience, focused on three industry groups who experience the crisis differently - employees, businesses, and stakeholders - to support a staged recovery from COVID-19 impacts and develop workforce resilience.”

Financial supports like JobKeeper improved work opportunities and a strong sense of community helped boost workforce confidence in mid-2020, but it has since declined again in 2021 due to continuous lockdowns and border closures.

The latest tourism figures show a 48.9% drop in visitors to Tropical North Queensland, while the outback boomed with a record winter season from Australian travellers.

Tourism operators and employees rated job security as the biggest impact of the pandemic.

Operations Manager TNQ of the Entrada Travel Group Hans Ullrich said it was “nearly impossible” to keep staff in the current climate, stating “our staff are highly specialised - for example, we employ diving instructors and boat captains.

“If lockdowns end suddenly and visitors return, we will struggle to quickly fill these specialised roles that are critical to ensuring our businesses can operate.”

Despite the surge in visitors, tourism operators reported that wellbeing issues and job performance due to labour shortages and insufficient skillsets were still major concerns.

Lloyd Mills, Chief Executive of the Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame in Longreach said although his staff were working long hours with limited days off, they were grateful to have the work.

Mills noted “maintaining staff motivation and morale is challenging as everyone is worn out from the uplift in visitation from April until July, but our strong culture will get everyone through.

“Should next season’s environment replicate 2021, the same issues for the Outback region will be present - not enough staff to support visitation and full business operation.”

Dr Robinson’s research was conducted in partnership with the Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC) and funded by the Queensland Government’s Advance Queensland scheme.

Research released last month from the Tourism and Transport Forum (TTF) suggested that job losses would see the Tropical North Queensland tourism workforce shrink to half its pre-pandemic size by Christmas.

Click here for more information on Associate Professor Richard Robinson's study on the University of Queensland website.

Click here for more information on QTIC website.

Related Articles

14th September 2021 - Sunshine Coast tourism operators encourage Queenslanders to visit the region during school holidays

14th September 2021 - Family launches multi-million-dollar lawsuit following 2019 Daintree zip line fatality

10th September 2021 - VenuesLive steps up recruitment drive for Optus Stadium hospitality staff

8th September 2021 - Gold Coast tourism sees 20% drop in jobs as a result of Coronavirus

7th September 2021 - Resort owner Dr Jerry Schwartz mandates hotel staff vaccination

2nd September 2021 - New round of financial assistance now available for Queensland marine tourism operators

23rd August 2021 - Tropical North Queensland tourism job losses to escalate by Christmas

20th August 2021 - Plans move forward for rectangular stadia in Cairns and Rockhampton

19th August 2021 - CrocArena’s crocodiles arrive at Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas

18th August 2021 - QTIC announces partnership with Local Tickets

9th August 2021 - New platform to assist tourism operators avoid COVID-19 cancellations

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

20th July 2021 - Experience Co commences building of Great Barrier Reef pontoon

12th July 2021 - University of Queensland campus upgrade to include Schonell Theatre redevelopment

8th July 2021 - Talaroo Hot Springs attraction opens in Outback Queensland

8th July 2021 - University of Queensland study shows COVID denied Queenslanders millions of holidays

5th July 2021 - Cairns-based Tropic Wings names new senior management team

4th June 2021 - Staff shortages set to impact opening of Luna Park Sydney’s new rides

23rd May 2021 - Death of Bill Samson, tour leader on four continents

18th May 2021 - Royal Life Saving highlights lifeguard and swim teacher shortage as providing opportunities for job seekers

20th May 2021 - Queensland campaign aims to fill vacant regional tourism jobs

3rd May 2021 - New roadmap launched to drive dinosaur tourism in outback Queensland

1st April 2021 - Tourism bodies cite thousands of lost jobs following end of JobKeeper

22nd February 2021 - 17 marine tourism operators funded to monitor health of Great Barrier Reef

20th February 2021 - Asset sales reduce Experience Co’s half-yearly losses as tourism operator

14th January 2021 - QTIC to survey operators on insurance crisis

7th January 2021 - Cairns’ Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park to close as COVID-19 hits tourism business

26th February 2021 - $40 million funding support announced for Indigenous Tourism

28th January 2021 - Hundreds of jobs promoted at Queensland Country Bank Stadium

23rd December 2020 - ABS figures show part-time tourism jobs exceeding full-time positions for first time

4th December 2020 - Sunshine Coast partnerships promote new JOBS NOW campaign for tourism and hospitality sector

27th November 2020 - Village Roadshow leads Queensland tourism operators in advertising summer positions

23rd October 2020 - Coromandel businesses concerned about staff shortages through summer

31st August 2020 - $11.3 million funding boost announced for Far North Queensland tourism

13th August 2020 - Indigenous tourism hit hard by Coronavirus crisis

20th February 2020 - Report shows chronic skills shortage in the events industry

13th February 2020 - Indigenous tourism in Cairns to receive new funding

11th November 2019 - Queensland Government announces 2020 as the Year of Indigenous Tourism

9th September 2019 - University of Queensland research shows federal law failure in preventing habitat destruction

16th May 2019 - University of Queensland predicts climate change could cause the extinction of 26 species

16th November 2015 - Works begins on new North Queensland tourism drawcard


Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.

 

supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

Pico Play

Pico Play is a global leader in the planning, design, development and construction of world-class themed attractions and entertainment that deliver extraordinary and memorable experiences to millions…

read more

Attractions / Consultants / Design / Recreation / Tourism

 
 

GEOFF NINNES FONG AND PARTNERS

Geoff Ninnes Fong & Partners (GNFP) is a structural, aquatic and civil engineering consultancy with broad experience in the design of new municipal and institutional swimming pools, hydrotherapy…

read more

Aquatics / Consultants / Design / Venues

 
 

IEDM

iEDM integrate Design, Engineering and Delivery Management services to convert existing spaces into exciting new entertainment venues. Our team consists of highly qualified professionals with diverse…

read more

Consultants / Design

 
 

Jonas Leisure

JonasLeisure offers a complete range of leading leisure and recreation software brands – envibe, Centaman, Gladstone Health & Leisure, The Retention People, Nutrition Complete and…

read more

Aquatics / Billing / Fitness / Recreation / Sport

 
 

APT Asia Pacific Pty Ltd

APT (Advanced Polymer Technology) is the leading global manufacturer of polyurethane-based materials, acrylic coatings and synthetic turf products for sporting and recreational applications. From…

read more

Environment / Sport / Surfaces / Technology

 
 

Yellowbox Lockers

Yellowbox is an Australian technology company that has developed smart locker technology operated through an app with a focus on experience for users and facility managers. Found at Beaches, Aquatic…

read more

Aquatics / Attractions / Entertainment / Retail / Security

 
 

Polin Waterparks

Polin was founded in Istanbul in 1976, and has since grown into a leading company in the waterparks industry. Today Polin is one of the world leaders in the design, production, and installation of…

read more

Aquatics / Attractions / Play / Waterparks

 
 

Myzone

Email for trade enquiries: Enquiriesapac@myzone.org  Customer support desk - Click Myzone support or go to ‘help’ on myzone app to access live support. Myzone® is the leading…

read more

Fitness / Sport / Technology / Wellness

 
 
 
 

get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business