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Sunshine Coast lockdown has $45 million impact on tourism

Sunshine Coast lockdown has $45 million impact on tourism
August 16, 2021

Visit Sunshine Coast says that it is anticipating a $45 million hit to its visitor economy as a result of the recent south-east Queensland lockdown.

A survey of its members indicated that revenue for the week had already fallen by more than 80% for the majority of operators, and was falling further each day the lockdown continued.

As reported by Global Travel Media, members across the tourism spectrum - accommodation, attractions, tour operators, retail and hospitality - reported mass cancellations with many now shut until the lockdown is lifted.

Also of greater concern was feedback that many potential visitors had indicated they would not be re-booking their visit in the immediate future due to the ongoing uncertainty.

The most recent lockdown has also resulted in a number of conferences and events being postponed including The Planning Institute of Australia 2021 Queensland State conference, with 180 delegates, and the Unisport Games, which was due to bring 270 entrants and over 1,000 room nights to the Sunshine Coast.

An even bigger event that is vulnerable is the Sunshine Coast Marathon, scheduled for the weekend of 14th and 15th August, with when last held in 2019, it attracted 6,470 participants, and contributed some 14,400 room nights to the region, with this year’s event targeting 8,500 participants and now moved to 10th October.

Advising that said the latest lockdown had been devastating for already hard-hit operators in the region, Visit Sunshine Coast Chief Executive, Matt Stoeckel stated “earlier forecasts by accommodation operators had anticipated occupancy levels during August of between 70-80% based on having access to all key markets.

“That has completely evaporated and even if the lockdown ended as planned, it will be a struggle to recover, with many interstate markets and New Zealand still ruled out.

“Our members have been devastated by this latest crisis and more support is needed urgently to keep jobs and businesses going.”

Echoing the sentiments, SEALIFE Sunshine Coast General Manager, Quinn Clarke, said that not only were they losing 100% revenue, they still had 90% of costs to service.

Clarke told Global Travel Media “this is just heartbreaking for Sunshine Coast Tourism operators, as we are still recovering from earlier lockdowns and are now facing yet another setback.

“We are really hurting and there is no reason why the (Queensland) Government should not take a blanket approach and extend the holiday dollar initiative to the Sunshine Coast.”

“Consumer confidence has taken a terrible hit and we are more heavily reliant on our drive market from Brisbane and South East Queensland but we also need to look to invest in locals to support local.”

Andrew Bond, Chief Executive of Buderim Ginger, whose company operates the popular Sunshine Coast attraction, the Ginger Factory, agreed saying that all revenue had ceased, but costs remained high and some 50 casual staff have been impacted because of the lockdown.

Bond added “the constant open and close directives cause massive disruption and it is almost as costly to re-open as it is to shut the business.

“We had a massive immediate.

“We were able to donate the food to OzHarvest, but it remained a huge cost to the business.

“Each time this happens it has a flow-on effect and the impacts to consumer confidence are long-standing.”

John Alwyn-Jones, Special Correspondent, Global Travel Media

Click here to read the article at Global Travel Media

Images: The Sunshine Coast's Glasshouse Mountains (top) and SEALIFE Sunshine Coast (below).

Related Articles

11th August 2021 - Australian Tourism Industry Council delivers three-point tourism, events and hospitality plan to recover from lockdowns

6th August 2021 - GlobalData highlights the impact of lockdowns on Australia’s domestic tourism recovery

2nd August 2021 - Extension of South East Queensland lockdown sees EKKA cancelled for second year

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

30th July 2021 - Australia’s lockdowns to end once 80% of the population is vaccinated against COVID-19

27th July 2021 - Atlas Events welcome announcement of Sunshine Coast as location for 2032 Olympic and Paralympic marathons

22nd July 2021 - Sunshine Coast looks to showcase its location and venues during 2032 Olympic Games

14th July 2021 - Successful Garden Expo highlights Sunshine Coast’s reputation for staging nature-based events

8th July 2021 - Sunreef launches new vessel to enhance Sunshine Coast whale encounters

24th June 2021 - Actvenure resort backers submit new plans to Sunshine Coast Council

22nd June 2021 - Sunshine Coast partnership aims to attract New Zealand tourists

16th June 2021 - Sunshine Coast live music venue owner critical of inconsistent COVID-19 safety rules

15th June 2021 - Queensland authorities shut down Sunshine Coast entertainment venue over ‘repeated’ health breaches

11th June 2021 - SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast collaborates on community beach clean-ups

10th June 2021 - Coronavirus wiped $19.5 billion in visitor spending from the Victorian economy in 2020

10th June 2021 - New Nambour park boosts Sunshine Coast green space

12th December 2019 - Sunshine Coast unveils million-dollar renewal project for the Big Pineapple

10th December 2019 - Mooloolaba Beach Holiday Park multi-million dollar revamp nears completion

24th October 2017 - New Buderim Cricket Club oval opened in University of the Sunshine Coast’s Sports Precinct

1st October 2015 - SEA LIFE Mooloolaba gains Zoo and Aquarium Association accreditation

10th August 2012 - Improving recycling at The Ginger Factory

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