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Resilience and recovery plan unveiled for Queensland tourism industry

Resilience and recovery plan unveiled for Queensland tourism industry
February 5, 2024

The Queensland Tourism Workforce Crisis Resilience and Recovery Strategy - a three-year project led by The University of Queensland in collaboration with Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC) - has delivered a roadmap to help Queensland’s tourism industry develop resilience and recover from disaster.

The Resilience and Recovery Strategy offers a toolkit for employees, operators and other stakeholders and is based on research led by Associate Professor Richard Robinson of UQ’s Business School in collaboration with QTIC.

Resource sheets provide practical insights on building resilience in five key regions – the Gold Coast, Tropical North Queensland, Outback Queensland, Queensland Country and the Whitsundays.

The suggested actions include offering support networks and flexible work arrangements to employees, facilitating knowledge sharing between staff, investing in staff coaching, mentoring and training programs, and collaboration across all levels of government to increase housing affordability and availability.

Dr Robinson said the plan addressed the profound impact of COVID-19 on Queensland's tourism industry.

"When COVID hit, there was talk of doom and gloom and the end of tourism, but history tells us that tourism has an extremely resilient demand and supply cycle,” Dr Robinson advised.

“The overarching objective of our research was to cultivate an attitude in the industry of being prepared and proactively planning to navigate and withstand future adversities – it’s called ‘presilience’.”

Dr Robinson talked to employees, operators, policymakers, peak bodies, destination managers and related industry sectors throughout the 3-year project to identify emerging challenges and develop targeted actions for a more sustainable workforce.

He said disruptions to the industry over the past three years had led to a critical shortage of effectively trained and skilled workers.

Dr Robinson added “after signs of recovery in 2022, employee and organisational resilience decreased by 2023, with indications of operator exhaustion highlighting the need for targeted interventions.

“Strong learning and change cultures in tourism businesses are highly predictive of resilient organisations, with positive flow-on effects for communities and destinations.

“We hope this accessible and user-friendly resource, which complements higher-level strategies, is both a timely and enduring support for a sustainable Queensland tourism workforce.”

QTIC Chief Executive Brett Fraser said the organisation was proud to partner with UQ to develop a vital plan and shared “Evidence-based, industry-led commentary must guide our future efforts in tackling tourism’s workforce challenges..

“I encourage all those connected with the tourism industry to take the opportunity to use the invaluable resources that have emerged from this project.”

The research was funded by the Queensland Government’s Advance Queensland scheme.

Access the Queensland Tourism Workforce Crisis Resilience and Recovery Strategy 

More information on QTIC 

More information on UQ business school 

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