As we sign off on the second COVID-year, I must admit that I can hardly remember what we had to worry about before we had this virus to drive us to distraction.
A world without this new global vocabulary of social distancing, border passes, boosters, suppression strategies, tracing, close contacts ... it seems like a distant memory of some idyllic land.
Of course, the times BC (Before COVID) were not without challenges, but it feels as though we had a lot more control over our lives, our businesses and our future. I wish there was some cheerful message to declare that 2022 will bring the end of all our COVID worries and will see us return to were we left off in December 2019. That will not happen.
Instead, we will all be challenged to navigate a path through the unpredictable twists and turns of the pandemic and the equally unpredictable policy responses from governments around the world. Forced to accept this unavoidable reality. On a much more optimistic note, I will say that I cannot imagine any place else I would rather be than right here in Queensland. By design and some good fortune, we have avoided much of the drama and trauma that other states and nations have faced. Nobody has all the answers to deal with COVID and we will need to continue to advocate on our industry’s behalf, best as we can, to ensure that tourism in this state has the best chance to craft a recovery.
Just as there is no rest for most of our members over this Christmas time, QTIC will not rest either in using every opportunity to raise businesses’ concerns and suggestions with government, including in relation to some of the current issues with PCR tests and close contact quarantining requirements.
To stay in the spirit of the festive season, there is always cause for optimism. Travel and the urge to experience what is over the horizon is irrepressible. It is part of the human condition. Global tourism will grow again, strongly, and we do have what the world wants when it comes to tourism.
The other cause for optimism is the inspiring resilience of the thousands of tourism operators in this state, who continue to amaze us with their determination to turn all challenges into opportunities.
QTIC is proud to stand with you in 2022.