Are we there yet?
A journey without a map, without a known path and without visible landmarks takes a toll on our spirits and our energy. It seems we will have to muster all our resilience and collective ingenuity to figure out how we can re-imagine a bright future. Reaching out, working together and sharing our problems and our hopes is more important than ever. The tourism industry is all about people, about bringing them together, about ‘looking up’, about opening our minds and finding that special place. We must be part of the way out of this, for our economy, for our community, for our people and for ourselves.
The last few days, delivered another set-back with a few new COVID cases in Queensland. Most likely this will be a recurring scenario across the nation as restrictions are eased. Our position has always been that we needed targeted infection-control measures that allow us to carry on with our lives while taking responsible health precautions. Suppressions, as opposed to elimination, has been the declared objective of governments and we anticipate that more clarity and transparency will be provided by state and federal governments as to how this will be implemented under different scenarios, without complete shut-downs. We all need more clarity to be in a better position to plan and prepare.
One aspect that is very clear by now is that businesses have a strong interest in implementing the best hygiene and health practices possible, not just to satisfy government regulation but also to reassure concerned consumers. The formally approved COVID-safe industry plans, including those developed by QTIC for tourism and accommodation and events, play an important part of the return to a new normality. We also strongly recommend that tourism businesses sign up for the consumer-facing national COVID-clean business practice checklist. It is free and gives more confidence to travellers.
QTIC will continue to work at all levels to forge a path for tourism operators and we will continue to keep you informed of these initiatives without adding to ‘information overload’. We advocate both nationally and at state-level of continued support measures that can meet the needs of tourism businesses. Through numerous committees and direct submissions, we are in constant contact with the state government to find more effective ways to bring tangible support to businesses. The upcoming state elections are a strong political incentive for creative new ideas. Never hesitate to contact us with your suggestions.
We also maintain a suite of industry support programs that are continuously adjusted to meet the needs of the industry. We know that many operators are busy in their operations or busy trying to stay viable but we urge you to take a moment and consider how your future could benefit from some of the programs offered.
This week the QTIC board will travel to Tropical North Queensland for its meeting and to catch up with operators in a region that is severely affected by the current conditions. It is a show of solidarity of our organisation and also an opportunity to hear directly from members.
With all of the drama around us, I cannot imagine another place I would rather be or another industry I would rather work for.