Toot for Tourism: Protests call for border reopening


Karlie Brady


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A number of tourism reliant businesses rallied today calling for the borders to reopen in time to save the industry. Image: Supplied.

Dozens of tourism operators rallied in Cairns today to ‘toot for tourism’, calling for border closures to be lifted in time to save the tourism industry.

In a coordinated protest with those on the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast, around 30 buses, cars, vans, and tour boats beeped their horns and noisily drove around Cairns CBD urging the Premier to provide clarity and open borders in July, as initially outlined in the State Government’s roadmap to reopening.

- Community opinion divided as tourism calls for borders to reopen

Organisers said tour operators, accommodation providers, airlines, and travellers require time to plan, and without a set reopen date visitors will not have the confidence to book a trip.

Many are concerned a prolonged Queensland border closure beyond July will mean further strife for the tourism economy with many unable to survive if interstate travel is blocked much longer.

Michael Woodward, director of CaPTA Group, the operators of the Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas, participated in the rally and said there was a great turn today out and he hoped it would gain attention.

“Cairns and Port Douglas will be disadvantaged if there is a further delay in opening the border and we wanted to show a united front as operators in Queensland,” he said.

“Hopefully it gains some community support and the politicians start listening.”

9.1 per cent of all people employed in Queensland work within the tourism industry, employing approximately 217,000 Queenslanders with the industry contributing $12.8 billion to the Queensland economy. 

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