Queensland is OPEN!


In welcomed news for the ailing tourism sector, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk yesterday revealed a valuable lifeline for the industry that will deliver significant steps towards reviving the region.

From noon today (Monday 1st June), Queenslanders can undertake unlimited travel anywhere within the state, including booking short breaks and extended holidays, in a bid to kick-start the tourism industry and enable struggling businesses the opportunity to start clawing back lost millions in revenue.

Following months of lobbying alongside our fellow regional tourism organisations and industry associations including Queensland Tourism Industry Council, Queensland Hotels Association and Restaurant and Caterers Association, together with Minister for Tourism, Kate Jones, Capricorn Enterprise CEO Mary Carroll believes that despite a long road to recovery for tourism operators, this is a positive movement in the right direction.

“We applaud Government’s decision to allow travel within the state and open the doors to Queensland tourism,” Mary said. “The tourism industry is a significant economic driver and source of local jobs and has been one of the hardest hit sectors as a result of the pandemic.”

“For months, local tourism operators have been flooded with cancellations and restrictions, with many on the verge of making critical survival decisions in relation to their businesses.”

“One of the key things that tourism businesses have lacked is certainty and this latest progression is the boost needed to provide a glimmer of hope and the knowledge that bookings are back on the cards.”

With just weeks to go until the peak June/July season, the major easing of restrictions and advancement of the Stage 2 step-down approach already in place has come at an ideal time.

“It is time to back our backyard and now more than ever we need to support local, buy local and spend money within our own region,” Mary said. “We are urging locals to play their part in strengthening our once strong local tourism industry by exploring and reconnecting with our phenomenal destination.”

“Our Capricorn region from the Central Highlands to the Keppel Islands has suffered an estimated $212 million dollar loss to our visitor economy and a reduction in 1.8 million room nights which is why we are imploring our locals to have a holiday in their own backyard.”

“Time is an unrecoverable element and although the past months have recorded massive losses for accommodation providers, restaurants and cafés, experiences and attractions within our region, booking a weekend getaway and extended holiday close to home now will go a long way towards reinvigorating the region.”

Although we have logged low numbers of COVID-19 cases in Central Queensland, the local tourism sector continues to take the pandemic seriously and have committed to following all of the necessary precautions in ensuring the safety of all guests and staff within their facilities.

“We know that until a vaccine is certain, more cases may arise and while we cannot completely eliminate the risks, we can work hard to manage them,” Mary said.

Queensland Health’s contract tracing processes and their ability to keep us informed and up to date with public health alerts will ensure the safety of the community.

With cooler months setting in across the nation in what would normally be prime time for southerners to pack up their caravans, cross the border and soak up sunshine and warmth of our region, restrictions remain in place for interstate travel.

“While yesterday’s announcement was a small step for local business survival, we are already counting down the days to 10th July which will see a greater easing of restrictions that will provide further relief for tourism operators,” Mary said. 

Capricorn Enterprise and our Regional Organisation Network is currently working closely with Tourism and Events Queensland on a multi-million-dollar drive campaign to book tourism within the State.

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