Quarter of Qld tourism businesses could go broke

 

 

AS many as 10,000 Queensland tourism businesses could go broke before the coronavirus pandemic is over, despite the Federal government's pledge to extend the JobKeeper scheme until next year.

While the decision to extend JobKeeper payments was on Tuesday welcomed by tourism operators, there are fears that up to a quarter of Queensland tourism operations may not survive the pandemic which has robbed them of a $7 billion windfall generated by international visitors.

The situation is particularly dire in the state's far north, where some operators rely on international guests to generate up to 80 per cent of their revenue.

With no indication on when international borders could reopen, some operators are facing months of uncertainty, even with the extension of support payments for workers stood down during the economic lull.

 

Tourism Minister Kate Jones. Picture: Nigel Hallett
Tourism Minister Kate Jones. Picture: Nigel Hallett

Queensland Tourism Minister Kate Jones said more needed to be done to ensure the long-term survival of the state's tourism industry with State government modelling showing up to a quarter of businesses could go broke.

"Thousands of businesses right throughout our state could go bust," she said.

"This industry will be vital to rebuilding Queensland's economy and creating jobs in the future. We can't afford to lose these businesses and lose these jobs."

Tourism QLD CEO Daniel Gschwind. Picture: Attila Csaszar
Tourism QLD CEO Daniel Gschwind. Picture: Attila Csaszar

Queensland Tourism Industry Council CEO Daniel Gschwind said the extension of JobKeeper was a good start but there would need to be more measures activated to help ensure the survival of tourism businesses.

"There's still a long and tough road ahead," he said.

Tony Baker, managing director of the Quicksilver Group marine tourism operator, said he was happy the JobKeeper program had been extended but there would still be tough times ahead.

Quicksilver Group Managing Director, Tony Baker, whose company is massively invested in Great Barrier Reef tourism, says industry will continue to struggle until international tourists return. Picture: Brian Cassey
Quicksilver Group Managing Director, Tony Baker, whose company is massively invested in Great Barrier Reef tourism, says industry will continue to struggle until international tourists return. Picture: Brian Cassey

"All operators up here, big and small, are feeling the pressure," he said.

"There are operators here who are only trading at about 20 per cent, which means they are missing out on 80 per cent of their normal income.

"We're not like other parts of the state that get a high proportion of their visitors from the drive markets.

"We need international passengers and at the moment there is no one who can tell us when those international markets are going to come back."

 

Originally published as Quarter of Qld tourism businesses could go broke


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