Nevertheless, I want to focus this final message on a few positives. Firstly, we should take some optimism from the fact that we definitely have the attention of the domestic market. The five million Australians who took their holiday overseas in 2019, spending more than $50 abroad, will be added to the already significant potential that domestic tourism offers. It is a great opportunity for us to show off our diverse destinations, our quality new products and our impressive experiences in countless nice markets. This forced attention on the domestic market is something of a silver lining of the crisis, if we manage to make a positive and lasting impression on visitors.
Secondly, I want to acknowledge the extraordinary spirit of collaboration that has been evident throughout the COVID-drama within the industry and between industry and government. It is said that a crisis may bring out the best in us and I believe the way stakeholders in tourism and government have come together to ‘get stuff done’ in a timely manner has been extraordinary in 2020. We may not always have agreed on everything but everybody was relentlessly focused on achieving positive outcomes. I hope we can take this momentum forward into 2021 and use it to craft the best possible recovery for tourism.
Finally, I want to pay tribute to the thousands of tourism operators who stood strong through the worst possible circumstances, facing immense pressure, hardship and personal anguish. The word resilience may be a bit overused perhaps but it certainly applies here, along with a reference to the irrepressible spirit that is in the character of our operators.
Here at QTIC we were committed to play our part and provide the advocacy and support for the industry that was needed. I want to thank every member of our small team here for their dedication to the task under trying circumstances. I also want to acknowledge our – volunteer - board members and the Chair, Shane O’Reilly, who provided clear leadership and direction. I want to thank the many individuals in a number of Queensland government agencies who have worked with us in partnership throughout the year. Finally, it is the continued loyalty and support from our members that keeps us going and I want to thank our longstanding members and the very many new members we were able to welcome this year.
Enjoy a relaxing and peaceful holiday season!