Cairns looking for a boost in intrastate travel as restrictions unwind

A plan is in the works to give a much-needed boost to the Tropical North Queensland tourism sector which has been decimated by the Covid-19 travel ban.

With Queensland now looking to slowly unwind intrastate travel restrictions, the tourism sector in Cairns and the surrounding region is looking to cash in on domestic visitors who would otherwise head overseas.

Tourism Tropical North Queensland CEO Mark Olsen said a campaign to attract Queenslanders to the Far North was being planned alongside a promotion for other states to follow.

“When the travel bans are lifted, we can actively start promoting the destination,” he told The Cairns Post.

“Then when the state borders travel bans are lifted we’ll move into interstate campaigning. We’re expecting all that to occur this year.”

The Far North’s tourism industry has been particularly hard hit due to its heavy reliance on international tourism.

“For our region, we were impacted first because we have such a large portion of the market from China and overseas,” Olsen said.

“So the State Government needs to be aware that not all destinations are equal in their recovery process and some will need more support.

“Providing support in terms of hibernation costs, whether that’s reducing payroll tax, electricity tax, insurance costs, those are going to be essential.”

He also advised that tourism operators will need to consider a new consumer awareness around hygiene and social distancing and factor that into their businesses.