Immediate Industry Recovery Package

The Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC) today welcomed the announcement by the Premier, Hon Annastacia Palaczszuk, of further industry support measures in response to the ongoing CoronaVirus crisis affecting Queensland’s tourism destinations.

QTIC Chief Executive, Daniel Gschwind said, “Business operators across the state were already dealing with the reputational impacts of the bushfire disaster, when the Corona Virus and the associated China travel ban decimated international tourism.

“The timing could not have been more unfortunate with the normally busy Chinese New Year season turning into a financial disaster for operators across the state, particularly in Cairns and the Gold Coast”.

QTIC has been engaged with the State Government to identify practical measures that can assist with the immediate financial stress for operators and plan for effective marketing campaigns.

Mr Gschwind continued, “We have heard loud and clear how dire the situation is for many operators and we have taken those concerns to both state and federal governments.

“These latest measures announced by the Queensland Government are most welcome and indicate that at the state level we have a recognition of the impacts of this crisis, not only on the industry but on the communities, who depend on the tourism dollars.

“Of course, we are most concerned about businesses ability to retain staff which is important for an effective recovery when the time comes”.

Meanwhile, QTIC is concerned that the call to the Commonwealth Government for a doubling of the bushfire tourism relief package by $76 million remains unanswered. QTIC’s call for a support package has been picked up by industry associations across all states and territories, including the Australian Tourism Industry Council (ATIC).

The announced Queensland Government Industry Recovery Package will provide immediate relief to impacted businesses by providing and help them sustain jobs while work is done to contain the CoronaVirus. The package provides targeted financial support and advice; promotes Queensland through marketing and media activities; and provides counselling and support to businesses and students.

Support for small business and exporters

A suite of initiatives will be available to support small businesses to build resilience, grow and succeed, including:

  • resilience workshops in partnership with local peak bodies to build the financial resilience of small businesses
  • business mentors to provide targeted advice to impacted small business 
  • Small business hotline (1300 654 687) to direct small businesses to support options and provide updates and advice.
The $1.1 million Market Ready initiative will:
  • provide tailored export advice to SMEs on leveraging opportunities in the Chinese online market
  • support brand development through provision of market intelligence and expert advice for exporters looking to enter new markets
  • host China market development forums to provide practical expert advice

Industry specific support
  • $500,000 fisheries market diversification grants will provide for additional infrastructure on boats or onshore facilities to help businesses pursue new market opportunities
  • The Government will extend the catch area for tropical rock lobster for three months to reduce operating costs for quota holders and enable market expansion
  • The Government will temporarily waive fishing boat license fees and quota fees for tropical rock lobster and coral trout.
  • There will be fees and charges relief for tourism operators and hospitality businesses including:
             -waiving application fees for some variations to liquor licenses
             -waiving registration fees for Inbound Tour Operators
             -waiving of Daily Fees for Commercial Activity Agreements & Permits
             -rebate on Marina Charges and Passenger Levies
             -deferral of Tourism Lease Rent Payment.

Marketing and promotion

There will be a suite of marketing activities to target new markets and strengthen development in existing markets through:

  • $7 million to align with Tourism Australia to promote Queensland to international markets
  • $4.8 million targeted tourism campaign to promote travel to Tropical North Queensland and the Gold Coast, to support recovery from the sharp decline in international tourism
  • $2 million Study Queensland campaign to diversify the international student market and support re-entry from Chinese students
  • The $500,000 #EatQLD campaign will encourage Queenslanders to buy local seafood and other agricultural products.

 Student support and counselling

  • An additional $1 million is available to increase student support services across Queensland to help impacted students returning to study. This support includes providing information, advice and referrals on health care, employment, budget management, accommodation and legal service, as well as connecting students to social events and activities.