Despite the temporary relief for many operators that the last weekend provided, with strong activity reported from across the state, there can be no illusion that the challenges for us are still significant.
The recent backwards step in relation the NZ ‘travel bubble’, the desperate situation for airports, airlines and travel agents, the absence of any business travel, the constraints on events and, of course the consumer uncertainty, are just some of the problem areas our industry is trying to overcome.
QTIC is very aware that many of our members and the broader industry will be substantially affected by the announced end of the federal JobKeeper program in March. In collaboration with our other state and territory colleagues in the Australian Tourism Industry Council (ATIC) we have engaged directly with the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison MP; the Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg MP; and the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Dan Tehan MP; urging them to implement an effective support program for affected tourism businesses beyond JobKeeper. The damage and long-term cost to the community and to the economy from cutting struggling tourism business adrift would be far greater than the cost of keeping the business infrastructure and the skilled workforce in place now. To bring the full strength of our national industry to bear, we have coordinated the industry’s proposal also with other organisations, including with the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) where QTIC is also represented. We will continue to pursue this issue vigorously.
On a more positive note, we have launched the Top Tourism Town awards
program last week. With domestic tourism the only game in town we may as well take the opportunity and make the most of what our unique and fascinating towns all across the state have to offer. So many attractions, stories, characters and experiences to be had by visitors. The more we can promote this to the market, the more we can support those very towns. We hope you can encourage your town to put its hand up to be highlighted through this program. We will also work with the Sunday Mail to gain the biggest audience possible. State winners will go on to a national competition.
Finally, I hope to see many of you at our first event of the year
on 17 February to mark also what is the 20th anniversary of QTIC being set up.