Tourism in Action: A word from Daniel Gschwind (January)

It has not been quite the start to 2022 we had in mind. After a very positive Christmas and New Year period, most tourism and hospitality businesses have found themselves in a doubly difficult set of circumstances. Not only have many consumers gone back into some self-imposed, quasi-lock down mode; what business was still on offer has been difficult to service at full capacity for operators, with staff either sick or at home as close contacts.

For some, this is the worst time since the pandemic took a hold of our lives and our businesses. Omicron has unfortunately made this passage inevitable, but we cannot allow it to destroy our confidence in a recovery sooner rather than later. We did advocate for the state borders to open and we got our wish. Most restrictions have been eased and health experts are cautiously optimistic that we have weathered the worst of it. 

The next important step is for the national borders to open to quarantine-free travel for vaccinated travelers on tourist visas, not just the current visa categories. We welcome the recent changes to allow Working Holiday Makers, international students and skilled migrants to travel to Australia without the quarantine requirements. They will gradually help with our workforce challenges as well. Hopefully, National Cabinet will take the next step for international travelers return before Easter.
Meanwhile, QTIC continues to advocate for temporary government cash support for those businesses most dramatically affected by revenue losses this year. We need businesses to be strong and ready for the recovery if we are to deliver the boost to our regional economies that our communities need. Tourism is everyone’s business, that much the COVID crisis has made very clear! QTIC has also made a submission for the annual federal budget process. We are working collaboratively with the Australian Tourism Industry Council (ATIC) to demonstrate the national strength of the industry in the lead-up to the federal elections, now more than ever. 
As you can see below, we are about to host the Australia’s tourism leaders for the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards, right here in the recently crowned “world’s’ most loved tourism destination”, the Sunshine Coast. Event if you are not one of the Queensland Tourism Award winners vying for national honours on the night, this may be just the celebration we all need to kick-start, finally the new era of AC (after COVID) for our industry.
I want to again thank all our loyal members who support QTIC despite all of their own challenges and allow us to speak up for the industry and continue to deliver a range of programs for a bright future.