Flood task force to help tourism industry

Friday 14 January 2011

Flood task force to help tourism industry


The tourism industry will have its own working group, as part of the Flood Recovery Task Force, committed to getting the tourism industry back on track in regional Queensland.

Tourism Minister Peter Lawlor recently announced the working group and said that regional tourism operators in flood affected areas had been hit hard by the natural disaster and needed assistance to bounce back.

“The floods that have devastated large areas of regional Queensland have left a serious mark on many of our state’s key industries, including the tourism industry,” Mr Lawlor said.

“The Flood Recovery Task Force has been assigned to provide leadership, coordination and direction to drive a successful recovery for flood affected areas, and it’s important that tourism is singled out as an important part of this recovery.

“The dedicated tourism sub group will work with local communities on recovery initiatives and develop a communications strategy to get the industry back on its feet as soon as possible.

“Tourism contributes $9.2 billion per annum to the state, directly employing 122,000 people and indirectly employing 100,000 more.

“We need to make sure tourists still view Queensland as a first-rate holiday destination and keep coming here to provide a boost for recovering businesses and help protect those businesses that haven’t been affected by the floods.”

The tourism sub group of the Flood Recovery Task Force will consist of representatives from:

  • Tourism Queensland
  • Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC)
  • Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (DEEDI)
  • Local tourism representatives

Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC) CEO Daniel Gschwind welcomed the announcement of the tourism focused sub-group and the concentration it will have on tourism recovery.

“I’m pleased that representatives from key tourism organisations will be able to work together to develop ways to counter the negative impact of the floods on our tourism industry.

“This means that the experts in this area will be contributing directly to the recovery process for the tourism sector.”

Chair of the Economic Committee of the Flood Recovery Task Force, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (DEEDI) Director-General Ian Fletcher, toured flood-affected areas last week.

“Seeing the devastation first hand really brings home how massive the recovery effort will be,” Mr Fletcher said.

“Talking with tourism operators on the ground revealed that even those not directly impacted by the floods are doing it tough with concerns that many interstate and international tourists are thinking about turning away because of the flooding reports.”