QTIC Chief Executive, Daniel Gschwind said, “We now face a potentially even greater threat to the viability of parts of our economy, particularly the tourism and international education sectors. The CoronaVirus has already resulted in major revenue losses and reputational damage to operators across the nation, including Queensland. Early estimates of the accumulated cancellation losses in Queensland alone amount to more than $100 million to date, with some estimates of losses over the coming months exceeding the one-billion-dollar mark.
“This figure is not just an economic indicator, instead it reflects the damage done to thousands of business operators who find themselves in severe financial stress, entirely outside their control. Job losses are already occurring and have the potential to become significant. This will in turn affect and weaken regional communities with long-term, economic, health and social implications”.
Tourism businesses are not the only ones threatened by this impact, as seen in previous crisis, but the whole supply chain, from primary producers to other service providers to the visitor economy.
Mr Gschwind continues, “Now is the time for industry and government to show leadership and support on a scale that is commensurate with the challenge at hand. We will need to demonstrate strong collaboration and common purpose to overcome a crisis that will be existential for many businesses.
“On behalf of thousands of tourism businesses in Queensland and more than 200,000 employees, We call on governments to make the necessary investment now to minimise further damage. We urge the Commowealth to double the previously allocated $76 million to reflect this evolving challenge”.
Both State and Commonwealth Governments have been encouraged to introduce measures that are focused on supporting businesses now.
“Our reputation and economic future depend on it,” Mr Gschwind concluded.