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Tourism Operators Push Back #ReOpenNQ 6:09am, Sat 23 May 2020

Sustainable tourism is a hot topic in the North of Queensland. During Covid 19 its no different, moreso now than ever before Tourism Operators want to get back on their feet and stop the Gov hand outs.

Director and General Manager of Cumberland Charter Yachts Sharon McNally said, "Let NQ open, allowing operators to get back to business, we can support ourselves with charter bookings not Gov hand outs, which will take decades to repay!"

Sharon applauded the Premier and Chief Health Officer on the strong approach to border restrictions in the early days but  said "Intrastate travel has to ease now,  I don't wish to seem ungrateful for the offerings QLD government have put on the table with Grants and Free Training but it doesn't make sense to give handouts when we can support ourselves, all we need is a little bit of common sense.. we have seen many nonsensical ideology applied. We are not a region of dole bludgers and don't accept handouts lightly, we just want to GO Bareboating". pleaded Sharon. adding "As minister for "Trade" she needs to listen and apply herself. Her job is not to keep us safe and more, her job, maybe not for much longer, is to prevent a mental and economic meltdown".

The facts are clear:

•  The closure of domestic travel is seeing the North Queensland economy losing almost $100M each week, with tourism leaders calling for an urgent review of the restrictions to reopen North Queensland recreation travel prior to the school holidays.
•   The tourism economy in North Queensland equates to $6.4B and 37,400 direct jobs. The industry punches well above its weight making up 25% of the State’s tourism economic contribution despite having only 15% of the population.

Tourism Whitsundays has joined with the Regional Tourism Offices (RTO’s) representing the Cairns, Townsville, Mackay, and Outback regions to  the urgent need for recreational travel within North Queensland to be extended to allow unrestricted travel within a North Queensland bubble.

The move comes as thousands of tourism and hospitality businesses across North Queensland bleed $91M each week and face missing out on critical tourism dollars which the North Queensland drive market injects during the school holiday period.

The June/July school holiday period is traditional a strong driver of economic activity within the North Queensland drive tourism market, but the current roadmap in place restricting June travel to only 250 kilometres, which means Cairns residents can’t even drive to Townsville despite the fact that there has been no COVID-19 cases under investigation in North Queensland and there have been no active cases in North Queensland for a number of weeks.

North Queensland doesn’t have the population density like the Gold Coast and Brisbane to draw upon and we need an extension of the 250km zone. It is unrealistic and not economically viable to place the same set of rules on North Queensland as the South East.

Allowing a North Queensland travel bubble and fast-tracking to stage 3 will enable businesses to reopen prior to the school holidays, but it will only be the start of what is needed to re-energise the North Queensland economy. State-wide travel and the opening of the borders needs to occur as soon as possible To prevent a tsunami of business closures and to get locals back into jobs we need to act now and allow North Queensland to get back to business.

Given the lower risk profile of North Queensland, the earlier we can turn back on and support the State’s economy the less burden on the Queensland tax payer and the quicker we can re-ignite the State’s economy.  

CCY have implemented a number of COVID safe measures to protect customers and staff, these measures are pointless paperwork without the easing restictions.

Join the NQ tourism "back to work army" and support our case, #reopenNQ
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