The Palaszczuk Government has today formed an Industry Reference Panel to chart a COVID‑19 recovery course for the former $25.5 billion Queensland tourism industry.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk today announced aviation leader Liz Savage as Chair of the 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.
The Panel will oversee the development of an Action Plan for Tourism Recovery that will identify new recovery initiatives that position Queensland’s tourism industry for success after COVID-19.
“Tourism is a cornerstone of our economy. Ensuring this industry gets back on its feet is vital to rebuilding our economy,” the Premier 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,” Mr 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.”
Member for Cairns and Assistant Tourism Minister said the industry was starting from a strong base.
“There are few places in the world with a better tourism experience than the natural wonders of Far North Queensland, the bright lights of the Gold Coast and the rich culture of the outback,” Mr Healy said.
“With an amazing variety of destinations, Queensland has a lot to offer.”
To identify recovery options for the plan a range of issues will be explored, including:
- Changes in consumer demand and emerging market opportunities
- Queensland’s brand positioning against competitor destinations, as both a state and destination specific brands
- Enablers of tourism growth, including skills, infrastructure and technology
- Re-building airline capacity into Queensland as well as other transport options
- Opportunities for new products and experiences, including shovel ready projects capable of spurring investment, rejuvenation and visitation
- Opportunities for events to drive visitation, including to regional areas and during off-peak periods
- Opportunities for Queensland to increase its share of international education.
Mr Hinchliffe said the Industry Reference Panel would help put Queensland Tourism on the right track.
“By exploring new opportunities and preparing for a world changed by COVID, our Action Plan for Tourism Recovery will help shape the next stage of Queensland’s economic response,” Mr Hinchliffe said.
Industry Reference Panel chair Liz Savage said she was honoured to play such a crucial role in helping to rebuild Queensland’s tourism industry.
“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,” she 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 2021.
Roundtable events will provide further opportunity for the panel to seek industry input into the action plan. The plan will be delivered in two phases – with actions to be identified by the middle of 2021 and a final plan to be released by early 2022.
Mr Godfrey will be taking a leave of absence from his role on the Tourism and Events Queensland Board to concentrate on this important body of work.