Tourism in Action: Daniel Gschwind (November)

Despite the continued uncertainty, we are sticking with the good news of the imminent state border opening on 17 December. Omicron may throw another twist into the COVID story but we have known for some time that with new variants or not, we will have to ‘live with it’. That will also mean to build up some immunity to the panicked reactions of media to any global news and we have to support measured and calm local policy responses. Queensland is in a very good position to stay on the recovery track – the tourism industry as well as the community needs to rebuild.

We did have some success recently with state and federal governments finally confirming that the required PCR test for incoming visitors will remain free, regardless of why the test is requested. The alternative of charges of up the $150 per person would have been catastrophic for interstate tourism and devastating for visitors. QTIC stepped up its advocacy and common sense prevailed in the end. We were also pleased with being able to host a webinar last week with the Deputy Police Commissioner, the Director General of DTIS, a representative from Queensland Health and others to address some of the many practical questions that operators still have in relation to the yet-to-be released health directives that will apply after the opening of the state borders. Almost 600 participants registered for the event, with proceeding now available on line for anyone interested. Some questions remain, legal and operational, and QTIC will provide further, specific webinars as information becomes available.

Finally, I want to thank all of you who joined us for the Queensland Tourism Awards earlier this month. You make it a very special occasion, all the more significant after such a long period of stress and hard work. We were pleased to be joined by the Premier and the Leader of the Opposition, as well as several Ministers and many Mayors and Coucillors from around the state. It demonstrates the recognition our industry has and deserves, thank to the contribution our operators make every day to the community and the economy. The team, the volunteers, judges and production team did an outstanding job making us all feel just a little better.

Let’s keep it up!