A new panel of tourism industry heavy weights has been put together to help Queensland chart a course to recovery from the effects of the pandemic.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced aviation leader Liz Savage as Chair of the Industry Reference Panel alongside former Tourism Australia CEO Andrew McEvoy and Tourism and Events Queensland Chair Brett Godfrey who will work with all sectors of the tourism industry to explore recovery options.
“Tourism is a cornerstone of our economy. Ensuring this industry gets back on its feet is vital to rebuilding our economy,” Palaszczuk said.
“That’s why we’ve appointed some of the best in the business to deliver a blueprint for the recovery of this sector in Queensland.
“Our tourism operators continue to do it tough right throughout the state. But thanks to the way Queenslanders have responded to this pandemic, our economy is in better shape than others throughout the country and throughout the world.
“We have a great opportunity to build back better. That’s what this is all about.”
Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the plan would look at tourism potential and confidence as the world emerges from the pandemic.
“Before COVID, tourism was a healthy $25.5 billion industry, representing one in 11 jobs in the state and employing 234,000 Queenslanders,” Hinchliffe said.
“COVID has dented the state’s economy and shaken world confidence.
“So far, the Palaszczuk has invested $8.8 billion in Queensland’s economy and more than three-quarters-of-a billion-dollars in targeted assistance for tourism and events.
“With vaccines being rolled out in Australia and around the world, the panel will work with industry on a considered and thorough plan for Queensland tourism beyond 2021.”
The Panel will oversee the development of an Action Plan for Tourism Recovery that will identify new recovery initiatives including changes in consumer demand and emerging market opportunities, rebuilding airline capacity into Queensland and exploring opportunities for events to drive visitation, including to regional areas and during off-peak periods.
“Leading the Action Plan for Tourism Recovery and helping to shape the future of tourism inQueensland is a really important task – I look forward to working with the sector to futureproof our industry,” Savage said.
“We are seeing that COVID-19 has changed the way people travel and how they spend their time away. This is the opportunity to make sure Queensland’s offerings match what potential visitors will be seeking.
“As part of this panel, it’s our job to work with industry and government to plot a path forward and encourage industry and business to have their say along the way”.
Submissions will be invited from across the industry to shape the plan, with a series of public discussion papers to be issued from April.
The plan’s actions will be identified by the middle of 2021, with a final plan to be released by early 2022.